Charges filed in connection with death of teen
From J-T staff reports:
Marysville women face years in prison if convicted of alleged
with the sale of illegal drugs, which led to the overdose
death of a
15-year-old Marysville male.
Court reports show that Wyndi S. McDonald, 36,
of 700 S. Plum St., was
indicted Friday on three felony counts associated
with selling the
morphine which directly led to the death of Cory Simpson, of
According to Assistant Union County Prosecutor Terry Hord,
guilty McDonald could face up to 10 years in prison for one
felony count of involuntary manslaughter, up to eight years in
for one second-degree corrupting another with drugs charge and up
five years in prison for one third-degree felony aggravated
in drugs charge. If McDonald is found guilty and the charges
consecutively, she faces up to 23 years in prison.
Court files also
show related charges against Hope Gordon-Fisher, 37, of
690 Milford Ave., who
was also indicted Friday on one fifth-degree
felony permitting drug abuse
charge and one first-degree felony
involuntary manslaughter charge.
faces more than 11 years in prison, if found guilty and the charges
According to court papers, on or about Dec. 22, 2004 to Dec.
McDonald allegedly sold Roxynol generic Morphine to
Police have reported that Simpson died as a direct result of using
Hord explained that Gordon-Fisher allegedly permitted the
take the morphine in her home.
McDonald and Gordon-Fisher are
both scheduled to be
arraigned on Sept. 6 at 11 a.m.
campaign goes high tech
Area businesses providing new giving
Editor's note: The following story is submitted by the United Way
As United Way of Union County kicks off its annual
campaign this fall,
it does so with a 21st Century flair. Donors have two
options to direct their giving to the local charity.
cooperation with the Richwood Banking Company, donors can now have
pledges to United Way transferred automatically from their bank
a new electronic funds transfer option. They can also give
via United Way's
new Online Community Auction, presented by Honda
Marysville. This eBay-like
Web site allows businesses and individuals to
make in-kind donations of
products, services, collectibles, and more.
Hopeful of raising $750,000 to
meet the needs of the people served by
its 24 Member Agencies, United Way is
looking to reach beyond its
traditional methods of fundraising to target new
donors and additional
dollars. More than 90 percent of United Way's annual
donations come via
the traditional workplace campaign; individual payroll
the subsequent corporate matches. Last year, the organization
$713,345, 8 percent short of its $775,000 goal.
"We needed to
develop new ways to reach out to those who don't work in
places that conduct
United Way campaigns," said Dave Bezusko, campaign
and public relations
director for the United Way of Union County. "We're
hoping the new EFT option
in our upcoming residential mailing will help
us connect with a new audience,
such as commuters who live here but work
out of the county, retirees, and the
large number of people who work in
places where payroll deduction giving is
not available to them. Now
these folks can easily give to United Way and
spread out their
contribution throughout the course of the year
United Way is helping the Richwood Banking Company pioneer a new
of business banking as one of the first customers to sign up for a
online product that allows small businesses and non-profit
to collect and remit payments. This product allows the United
Way a more
convenient, high tech way of collecting donations. When donors
and authorize the automatic payment option on the pledge forms,
Way can electronically debit their bank account.
"This offers more
flexibility to both the United Way and the donor that
writing a check
cannot," said Shari Watkins, of RPMS, a subsidiary of
Company. "The process is simple; once the proper
authorization is obtained,
United Way can enter the customer's bank
account information, name and
donation amount. On a specified date the
donation is electronically processed
and sent to the United Way. The
donations can be a one-time payment or
recurring at the customers'
request. This saves time, cuts down on stacks of
checks to process,
trips to the bank, and helps protect against identity
United Way's new Online Auction is modeled after a similar
conducted in Zanesville by the United Way in that community.
says that over the course of a few weeks, they obtained about 100
had more than 30,000 hits on their Web site, and raised more
"The auction is an outlet created to cater toward our
businesses to help put the spotlight on them, their
products, and their
services," Bezusko said. "It's a great way to showcase
your business and
help United Way at the same time."
Items donated will
be auctioned during 10 days of online bidding Oct.
20 to 30. The auction site
is already live to accept donations and
preview the catalog and is linked
directly off United Way's Web site at
Sponsorship provided by Honda Marysville
is covering expenses incurred to set
up the event, meaning that 100
percent of the proceeds from items donated and
sold online will be used
to support United Way's programs and services in
"It's a fun way to give because you're getting something that
in return for your gift," Bezusko said. "There are a lot of great
already up in our online catalog. There are big ticket items like a
screen TV, a 2006 Metropolitan Scooter, a vacation package, and
on a lot purchase for a new home. There are small
collectibles, and memorabilia. It's a great place to find some
and to do some early Christmas shopping. We'll have something
United Way's new high tech giving options have also been
by recent upgrades in its in-house operations. A committee
volunteers, including Bob Schwyn, Technology Leadership Partners;
Comstock, Clarity Technology Solutions; Craig Ruhl, Richwood
Company; Steve Merriman, Liberty TechSystems; and Georgia
eMarysville.com. met over the course of several months to help
Way assess its technology needs and developed a plan to
improve its capacity. A donation of three new computers
Hewlett-Packard highlighted the changes.
More information about the
United Way of Union County may be obtained by
or by calling 644-8381.
North Lewisburg man killed in tractor
From J-T staff reports:
A North Lewisburg man was killed in a
tractor accident Wednesday at 11:30 p.m..
Reports on the death of Dwight
Thompson, 58, are incomplete at this time.
North Lewisburg Fire Department
Chief Dave Spain said initial reports
are that Thompson was riding a farm
utility tractor when it somehow
rolled over on top of him. He was found 100
yards behind his residence
at 519 Mill Street.
He refused to release
additional information without checking with the
county prosecutor regarding
Spain said Thompson was MedFlighted to a Dayton-area
hospital where he
was later pronounced dead.
"It's under investigation
right now," Spain said, regarding how the
tractor rolled onto Thompson. "I'm
not sure how it did."
Graphic allegations released
Beatings with hammers, being placed in clothes
dryer listed among
reports of child abuse
Editor's note: The
Journal-Tribune cautions readers that some details in
the following story are
graphic. The newspaper feels that the severity
of the allegations warrants
By RYAN HORNS
Graphic details on what prosecutors have called
"torture" and "excessive
abuse" were revealed this morning in a case against
a former Marysville couple.
The Bill of Particulars was released from the
Union County Common Pleas
Court regarding the case against Springfield
residents James E.
Ferguson, 46, and his wife Vonda Ferguson, 43.
files include a list of beatings and acts the two allegedly
their five adopted children, three males and two
females. Reports allege the
juveniles were starved, struck with hammers,
shoved inside clothing dryers
which were then turned on, were burned on
hot stoves and suffered broken
limbs from violent beatings with sticks.
The abuse included in the files goes
on for 16 pages, listing crimes
that allegedly spanned a four-year period
between July 24, 2000 through
Nov. 19, 2004.
The crimes allegedly occurred
between any of three homes in Union and
Clark counties, namely 1126 N.
Fountain Blvd. in Clark County, 23237
Holycross-Epps Road in Union County and
also 1505 Patricia Drive in Marysville.
The Fergusons now face more than
60 charges associated with
second-degree endangering children, third-degree
permitting child abuse,
second degree felonious assault, including a separate
felony rape charge against Vonda Ferguson.
counts 1 through 4 show the alleged abuse of an
adopted girl, who was between
10 and 14-years-old at the time.
The Bill of Particulars states that the
Fergusons allegedly struck the
girl's fingers with a hammer "which caused her
fingernails to bleed and
fall off; she was beaten with sticks and belts, the
handle of a toilet
plunger was stuck down her throat; she was beaten with a
white belt on
her back, legs and (bottom) until her leg was bleeding; she was
onto the floor resulting in a chipped tooth; she had a drawer shut
her finger which resulted in a broken finger, she was
burned with a curling iron; she was stripped naked, duct taped
table and beaten with a paddle and belt until her (bottom) was
hot sauce was rubbed on her (genitals); she was put into a clothes
and the dryer was turned on as punishment; (all of the victims were
that if they told anyone they would be killed)."
Court reports go on
to allege that the daughter "was forced to eat a
younger victim's excrement
from a soiled diaper which she was able to
hide under her tongue and spit out
later; (all children were made to
line up and be whipped at the same time,
making each child rotate from
the front of the line to the back, receiving
6-7 hits with the belt
before moving, duration was approximately 15 minutes);
food was withheld
from all victims for sometimes two days at which time the
eat cat food."
The files also show the children were at
times duct taped to their beds
and were threatened with a knife by Vonda
Ferguson, who allegedly told
them "if they didn't do as they were told she
would cut their throat
open or their stomach."
Other charges describe
abuse allegedly committed toward the couple's
adoptive son, who was also
between 10 and 14-years-old at the time.
Among abuse listed, the male was
reportedly held over a banister and
dropped, was burned with a clothing iron
on the palm of his hand and was
hit in the head with a stick.
slammed his head into a cabinet causing heavy bleeding; his toes
with a hammer causing infection; he was kicked in the chest by
James who was
wearing steel toed boots; was bent over an electric stove
and his chest was
burned. if he wet the bed he was made to wear the
urine soaked underwear on
his head all day. Vonda whipped the victim
with a belt for not cleaning his
room, during the beating the victim
sustained a large bleeding cut on his
stomach which is now scarred."
The court papers show that the boy ran away
from home at one point and
when he finally returned, he was made to strip
naked and was beaten.
Additional child endangering counts explain abuse
toward their third
adoptive male child, who was between 8 and 12-years-old at
Court files state that "Vonda pulled her panties down, sat on his
and urinated on him."
There were several other allegations of
equally inhumane treatment too
graphic to list here.
The alleged torture
was the same for the boy as with the other two
children. He also reportedly
was choked until he vomited, was struck in
the mouth with a metal hammer
chipping his teeth, locked in a dog cage
outside in the cold for an hour, was
shown pornographic movies, was
pushed and thrown down stairs, forced to drink
hot sauce with red hot
peppers, forced into a clothes dryer which was then
turned on, made to
take freezing cold showers, soap was sprayed into his
eyes, duct taped
to a chair for up to two days, and his head was held under
Further counts of second-degree felony child endangering charges
the same time period, involve the Fergusons' fourth adoptive
another male, between 6 and 10-years-old at the time.
The boy was
made to sit in a chair for up to three weeks, only being
allowed out to eat
and go to bed, was beaten until he suffered a broken
leg. Among similar
abuse, the boy was allegedly force fed spoiled and
rotten food which
reportedly made him and the other children sick.
A fifth adoptive daughter,
who was between 4 and 8-years-old at the
time, was allegedly similarly beaten
and starved. The girl was allegedly
scarred with a stick and curling iron by
Vonda Ferguson, and kicked in
the stomach and hit with a toilet plunger by
Remaining counts refer to third-degree permitting child
specifying each of the five adoptive children. Counts 26-30 charge
Ferguson with second-degree felonious assault for bodily harm,
of death, sexual abuse and "extreme psychological trauma" against
five adoptive children.
A female neighbor to the Fergusons' home on
Holycross Epps Road told the
Journal-Tribune on Tuesday that evidence of
child abuse was never
apparent. The woman, who did not provide her name, said
none of the
neighbors ever heard sounds of abuse coming from the
"Not to my knowledge," she said. "The children were never
The woman said the five children were at the Fergusons' home in
beginning, but were soon taken away. Neighbors on Patricia Drive did
wish to comment.
Court papers show that Vonda Ferguson currently does
not have an
attorney. Reports show that attorney Gregory Lind was
representing both Fergusons. Because of a possible conflict of
Mrs. Ferguson filed to seek different representation. Her new
has not been named.
Fire district wants to buy N.L. municipal
By CORINNE BIX
The Northeast Champaign County Fire District is
seeking to purchase the
North Lewisburg Municipal Building at fair market
If the village chooses to sell the municipal building to the NECCFD
proposed site for the new municipal building will be across from
Dairy Bar on East Street. The NECCFD serves the villages of
Lewisburg and Woodstock, Rush Township and Wayne Township.
operating out of the North Lewisburg Municipal Building, the
pays rent on 5,286 square feet of space. The village
council voted in April
to more than double the annual rent from $6,000
to $12,500 retroactive to
Jan. 1, when the last contract expired.
Council also voted to gradually
increase the annual rent to $25,000 by
2008 which averages out to $5 per
square foot of space used. The village
found this rate to be in line with
standard rental rates of business properties.
"By 2010 the NECCFD will be
in deficit spending if things don't change,"
Chief Dave Spain referring to
the agreed upon rent increase.
Spain said options for the fire district
include levying for more money,
cutting services, putting off buying new
equipment or increased run volume.
However with the ever-growing
population, space is critical. In order to
balance services, the need for
increased space and the budget, change is
imminent, Spain said.
Willis, North Lewisburg, and village adminstrator Barry First
have agreed to
take the fire district's proposal to the village council next week.
hope to provide members of fire board and the people we represent,
taxpayers and constituents, with a fact sheet supporting the needs
fire district," First said.
First, Spain and Cheryl Hollingsworth were
appointed to a fact-finding
committee at Monday's meeting. Hollingsworth has
worked with the NECCFD
to calculate budget projections for the fire district.
committee will work on getting the necessary information in
regard to a
building appraisal and to research what is in the best interest
of all involved.
"There is a conclusion near in regard to a resolution
based on the
proposal made by Chief Spain on behalf of the fire board, "
"The Mayor and I remain very optimistic."
Spain and First said
that it will take several months for the committee
to present findings to the
fire board and the village council.
Spain said the committee would be focused
on finding out what it is
going to take so that both entities can reasonably
make the location
shift in terms of their individual budget restraints.
Richwood to get new business
Will be second resident of industrial park
The Village of Richwood appears close to securing its second
its Industrial Park.
Union County Economic Development
Director Eric Phillips was at Monday's
village council meeting to give
details about plans for a 48,000 square
foot manufacturing/office facility
which would like to locate in the park.
The owners of the facility would
be Linda and Jerry Wolf, who also own
MAI Manufacturing which opened the
first facility in the park, a 50,000
square foot operation with more than 50
Construction is expected to begin near the end of the year.
3.299 acre building site is on the west side of the industrial park.
in the park is owned by the village, however, ownership of the
will be transferred to the Union County Community
Improvement Corporation to
facilitate the sale.
The land will be sold for $8,500 per acre, bringing
$27,500 to the
village. The building itself will be a $1 million investment
and when at
full occupancy, the facility could bring in $7,500 annually in
The company has asked for no tax abatements on the
Phillips said the company plans to divide the building into four,
square foot operations. Only two of the sections of the
currently have occupants, a antique car refurbishing operation and
heavy equipment repair business, both controlled by the building
Phillips said two other occupants are being sought.
He noted that
both the North Union Schools and Richwood Area Business
thrown support behind the sale. He said when full, the
facility could bring
30 jobs to the area, but initially only 15 are
projected in the two portions
of the building which will be occupied.
Phillips said the facility has plans
for two large truck doors but those
doors will not face the nearby Kells Lane
housing development. There
will be garage doors facing the houses but they
will be small and suited for deliveries.
Council member Scott Jerew asked
if the residents of Kells Lane had been
notified of the pending purchase and
construction. Previous site
preparation and construction at the industrial
park drew complaints from
Kells Lane residents over dust and noise.
earth mound with trees on top was eventually constructed as a buffer
residents maintained that a better barrier was needed.
Phillips said the
residents had not been informed of the plans but that he could do
Council approved the transfer of the land to the Community
Corporation, leaving six to eight acres in the park still
In other business, council:
.Heard first reading on its new
traffic codes concerning parking.
.Learned that 1,500 feet of the Ottawa
Street sewer improvement
project is completed.
.Discussed a 4 mill levy
which will expire next year. It was decided to
attempt to renew the levy,
rather than replace it with a levy that would
.Decided to pursue the full $1,300 penalty against a payroll
which did not distribute enough income tax money to the
.Learned that the village will have a light installed for the
Union Veterans Monument at the Richwood Park. The village will
handle the $25 per month electric bill for the light.
tree identification signs, completed as part of an Eagle
Scout project, are
being pulled from the ground and burned by some
patrons of the park. Park
Committee Chairman George Showalter said if
additional markers are destroyed,
night fishing at Richwood Lake will no
longer be allowed. "There comes a time
when the good have to suffer with
the bad," Showalter said.
possibility of constructing a skate park at the Richwood Park.
that Mayor Bill Nibert would be installing village
administrator Larry Baxa
as the village zoning inspector.
Marysville working out kinks in
By KARLYN BYERS
While Marysville's new school bus routes are
not perfect, superintendent
Larry Zimmerman said Monday night, they are doing
the job for which they
"I think it was the right thing to
do," Zimmerman said during the
board's regular monthly meeting. "Do we still
have some routes that are
longer then we wanted? Yes, we do. But we'll
Zimmerman conducted an overview of the district's new
routes, listing the reasons why they were needed, their
and the "tweaking" which needs to be done.
is one of the hardest areas to 'get right' the first
week of school,"
Zimmerman said in a communication to the
Journal-Tribune this morning.
said talks with other school districts, especially those which are
indicate they all have the same issues.
"As a public school we are expected
to provide the service, but it is so
hard to predict because we don't know
until the first day of school all
the 'who is getting picked up and where
will they be' issues. It is
frustrating, but we have made great strides and
intend to do even
better. The issues that have surfaced are minor issues that
can be and
will be resolved," he wrote.
Monday night, Raymond parents
Connie Hildreth and Becky Palombo spoke,
expressing concerns about the amount
of time children spent on the
school bus, among other things.
has to ride a bus for 45 minutes and I can see (Raymond)
school from my
house," Hildreth said.
Zimmerman assured Hildreth he would look into the
The board later authorized the purchase of three, 84-passenger
buses from Cardinal Bus Sales, Lima, under the Metropolitan
Council 2005-2006 school bus competitive bid and purchase
The measure was passed as an "urgent necessity" because the buses
needed immediately; one has already been delivered, according
"We knew we were going to purchase buses in December," he
that previous plans were to buy one 84-passenger and two
buses. But when the opportunity opened up to purchase larger
before they had to conform to the costly 2007 emissions standards,
purchase was escalated.
The purchase price was $73,600 each.
board also accepted the competitive bid price of $2,633,000 for site
the new middle school and intermediate school to be built on Route 4.
winning bid was submitted by Performance Site Management
"We'll be moving dirt in the next couple weeks," said
Manager Emily Wieringa of Thomas & Marker.
will be erosion control measures, she said, with
construction of the
retention pond and the building pad following.
"It's exciting. It's a nice,
big site," she said.
In other business, the board:
.Approved a list of
district credit card users, including Donna Ball,
Trent Bowers, Yvonne Boyd,
Greg Casto, Matt Chrispin, William Cooper,
Dolores Cramer, MaryAnne Dimitry,
Robert Fraker, Alicia Goodman, Melissa
Hackett, Neal Handler, Greg Hanson,
Tim Kannally, Kathy McKinniss, James
Moots III, Richard Rowland, Janet
Shonebarger, Joseph Smith, Carla
Steele, Gregg Stubbs, Colene Thomas, Jeffrey
Wargo, Mike White, Shawn
Williams and Zimmerman. The measure was suggested by
the state auditor's office.
.Heard the district is closing its digital
academy alternative schooling
program and Zimmerman and district
treasurer/CFO Dolores Cramer will
handle any administrative duties associated
with its closure. Cramer's
contract was amended to reflect additional
.Added the salary category of administrative assistant
transportation to the classified salary schedule.
.Authorized a PTO
fundraiser at Raymond Elementary to begin Sept. 5.
.Adjourned into executive
session to discuss personnel issues. No action was taken.
take on Darby Creek
From J-T staff reports:
The LPGA came to Union County
It wasn't the entire field from the Ladies Professional Golf
but three members who played a profitable Skins Game.
Inkster, Kelly Robbins and Ai Miyazato began the contest - which
prize money of $1,000 a hole - at approximately 8:30 a.m. at
Darby Creek Golf
Darby Creek landed the Skins Game, according to pro shop manager
Davis, through the efforts of a Japanese television network.
called us a week ago and we thought it was a joke (that they
schedule a Skins Game at Darby)," said Davis. "They then
followed through on
it with us."
Scott Hanhart, general manager at Darby Creek, agreed.
got the call from a Japanese production company that's based in Los
he said. "They're featuring Ai Miyazato, who is somewhat of a
Japan. Supposedly, she's more popular over there than Tiger Woods."
company has featured the LPGA rookie in several shows, shot in
places such as
Hawaii and Las Vegas.
Today's Darby Creek visit was the second of two Ohio
playing dates. On
Monday, a similiar competition was held at Heritage Golf
Club in Hilliard.
"I guess Ai had seen our Website and was interested in
said Hanhart. "She came out here Friday and liked what she
The Skins Game came just two days after the conclusion of the
Classic for Children at nearby Tartan Fields Golf Club in
Miyazato placed fourth there, shooting a 271 and earning
Robbins did not make the cut and Inkster did not play in the
Homeless man draws concern
Is a registered sex offender
On a downtown Marysville park bench a homeless man has taken
residence and nearby store owners are upset, because not only is the
homeless, he is also a registered sex offender.
Kevin Dewitt, 42, has
been living on the bench for the past week. He
served 19 years in prison for
a sexual crime he was convicted of in
1987. After he was released from prison
in 2005, like any other sexual
offender, he now has to check in with the
county sheriff's office
whenever he moves into a new town. This will continue
for the next 10 years.
But if law enforcement thought it was difficult
dealing with a
registered sex offender, dealing with a homeless registered
offender is something on a whole different level.
"It's been very
challenging," Union County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy
Located across from Dewitt's park bench is the Lambert Jewelry
whose owners have expressed that they are not happy with their
"It's a public place," owner Keith Lambert said. "But there
are kids all around."
Lambert said there are laws set up to keep sexual
offenders from living
next to schools, but the bench is right next to a
instruction school, near a children's dancing school and a
book store. To make matters worse, it is also right next to a
Lambert said he hates to be callous regarding a homeless person, but
has no sympathy in this case.
Sitting on a bench near the Copy Source
store on Thursday afternoon,
Dewitt explained that life has been difficult
since his release from
prison. He had been in jail since he was
"When I was incarcerated I was still living with my parents,"
Originally from Springfield, Dewitt and his mother moved to
in 1977. It was 10 years later that he was convicted of raping
5-year-old juvenile boy. Ever since his release, it has been hard
find his way back to being a normal citizen. Part of the problem has
do with his weight (in excess of 500 pounds) and health
associated with his weight. He also expressed disappointment with
system that does not move as fast as he needs it to. He must
another month before he can earn Social Security disability. With
money, he can afford to take care of his health problems.
he picked the park bench downtown because it was easiest for
him to sit at.
He learned earlier that day that he may have to move
again because no one
realized that a nearby church had a school inside.
Sexual offenders are not
allowed to live within 1,000 feet of any school
associated with the local
Board of Education.
"I don't know what I'm going to do, now that I have to
move out of the
area," Dewitt said.
Spain said Dewitt's probation expires
in three weeks. Where he will go
after that is unknown.
"He has pretty
much exhausted all of his options," she said.
Spain said the Union County
Department of Human Services couldn't help
Dewitt and no shelters want him
either because of his criminal record.
Because he is a registered sexual
offender, his options are limited. He
has been kicked out of every other
place he has tried to live. The
sheriff's office even tried to place Dewitt
in a Raymond area campground
to live, but the owners kicked him out when they
learned of his criminal record.
Michael Witzky, executive director of the
Union County Mental Health and
Recovery Board, said his agency is aware of
Dewitt's situation but can
not help. His agency can assist only individuals
with mental health or
alcohol and drug addiction problems. He said Dewitt has
none of these problems.
Lee Sampson is the Regional Administrator for the
Ohio Adult Parole
Authority, based out of Mansfield. Sampson said in the past
Dewitt has been out of jail, they have put him in a halfway house
Mansfield, an independent housing facility in Lorain, even
hotels. He was forced to leave every single one.
"None of these
places are intended to be used as a permanent housing
Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden said he knows all about Dewitt,
there are no laws against vagrancy or loitering in Marysville.
understand that it bothers people," Golden said.
He said local law
enforcement is keeping watch on Dewitt and always
knows where he is
throughout the day.
"There are a lot of eyes on him," Sampson said.
explained that the problem is that if a sexual offender lives in
a house on a
street, then people can drive by and see the house. There
is no face to
associate it to.
"But when they are in a public place like that, they see the
they see an example of the crime," Golden said.
"I know people
are upset. I can understand," Spain said. "But there is
no where for him to
go. He has been kicked out of everywhere he goes.
We're trying to deal with
it the best we can."
She said part of that process means keeping the sexual
accurate and up-to-date.
"If he says he's going to be
living on a park bench," she said, "then we
have to put that on there."
the past, homeless sexual offenders were listed under the same
address as the
Sheriff's Office. But Spain said over time they decided
it was better to keep
the public informed of their exact whereabouts.
If there is something Dewitt
wants Marysville residents to know: He can
understand why they are
"I have burned a lot of bridges in my life," he said, taking time
think about his choice in words. "But don't judge me again. I'm
to change my lifestyle."
Dewitt said he went through therapy while
in prison and had 19 years to
think about the crime he committed. Even
recently he is receiving
therapy from a Plain City pastor, who has been
helping him deal with
life outside of prison.
"(Therapy) has changed my
life for the better," he said.
But even as Dewitt talks from his park bench,
local police drive by
keeping an eye out and car loads of teenagers loudly
make fun of his weight.
"We're trying to get him a better situation,"
Program pairs seniors with cats
From J-T staff
The Union County Humane Society is launching a new program
seniors with feline friends.
"We are eager to add the Kitty
Connection to the array of innovative
programs at UCHS," said Rachel Finney,
UCHS executive director. "The
Kitty Connection creates a feasible solution to
finding homes for cats
and creating lasting relationships."
Connection volunteers ease anxieties of cat adoption by
offering seniors with
a variety of easy solutions.
Seniors will be provided with:
. A spayed or
neutered cat, fully vaccinated with all adoption fees waived.
Transportation for the cat to and from all veterinarian appointments
. Annual vaccinations offered at the reduced price of $10.
Weekly or monthly contact with a volunteer to provide answers
. Guaranteed placement for the cat if the participant can
no longer care for it.
In return, UCHS asks participants agree to:
Provide food, water, shelter and a clean litter box for the cat.
. Keep the
cat indoors at all times.
. Maintain contact with their volunteer match.
Report any illness or injury the cat experiences in their care.
the cat to the UCHS if they are no longer able to provide care.
fulfilling its mission of connecting people with animals and
through The Kitty Connection by:
. Enriching the lives of cats and seniors of
. Providing an innovative program for seniors.
the opportunity of companionship for cats and the participants.
participants in caring for a cat.
UCHS is accepting applications from seniors
who have room in their homes
and hearts for a new feline friend. Those
interested in becoming a
participant in The Kitty Connection can direct any
questions to Finney
at 642-0487. UCHS is also looking for volunteers willing
to assist the
seniors. Those interested may contact Kym Jarvis at
After piloting The Kitty Connection with seniors the UCHS is also
to expanding the program to people with disabilities.
"Adding a cat
to your home lives truly changes lives. Research has shown
that pet owners
are generally healthier, less stressed or depressed, and
more likely to
recover from serious illness or accidents," Jarvis said.
Voters face many local issues on November ballot
By CINDY BRAKE
issues will be before voters in the November election. Thursday
filing deadline with the Union County Board of Elections.
Issues to be on the
Nov. 7 ballot in Union County include:
. Countywide - 0.5-mill replacement
and 0.25-mill increase for operating
the 911 system. The five-year levy would
generate $866,000 annually and
cost $22.98 per $100,000 valuation. The old
cost was $14.18 and
generated $536,000 annually.
. A new, continuing
4-mill fire levy for the North Union County Joint
Fire and EMS District would
generate $256,400 annually and cost $122.50
for every $100,000 valuation of
property. Precincts in this district
include part of York, Claibourne
including Richwood, and Jackson
townships. The levy would maintain existing
service and expand service
to include 16 hours a day, seven days a week, as
well as replace
equipment and apparatus.
. An additional 2.2-mill,
five-year tax in Jerome Township would
generate $339,000 annually and cost
$67.38 per $100,000 valuation. The
tax would pay for police protection.
An additional 3.3-mill, five-year tax in Millcreek Township would
$113,000 and cost $101.06 per $100,000 valuation. The tax would
. Union Township is seeking to replace a 1-mill, five-year
current operating expenses. The levy will continue to generate
The cost for $100,000 valuation will increase by 4 cents from $30.58
. Unionville Center is seeking to replace a 2.95 mill,
for current operating expenses. It would generate $6,100
previous levy generated $4,000 annually and cost $56.90 for
$100,000 valuation of property. The replacement levy will cost
for every $100,000 valuation.
. Marysville residents will be asked
to approve an amendment to the city charter.
. Local liquor option for
Jerome Precinct 4 - The petitioner is seeking
the retail sale of beer, wine
and mixed beverages and spirituous liquor
for consumption Monday through
Saturday, 10 a.m. to midnight on Sunday
at 7155 Corazon Drive, Dublin, a
full-service restaurant and club house.
. Local liquor option for York
Township - The petitioner is seeking the
retail sale of beer, wine, mixed
beverages and spirituous liquor Monday
through Saturday, 10 a.m. through
midnight on Sunday at El Picacho
Mexican American Restaurant, 28000 Route 31,
family-oriented, full-service restaurant.
. Local liquor
option for Sunday sale in Marysville Precinct 12 - The
petitioner is seeking
Sunday sales of liquor at Applebee's Neighborhood
Grill & Bar, 1099
. Local liquor option for Sunday sale in Marysville Precinct 2
petitioner is seeking the retail sale of liquor at Doc
Restaurant, 318 E. Fifth St.
. Local liquor option for Sunday
sale in Leesburg Township - The
petitioner is seeking the retail sale of
liquor at The Pit Stop, 23255 Route 4.
Local candidates running
uncontested are incumbents Union County
Commissioner Gary Lee and Union
County Auditor Mary Snider.
upgrade could be in the works
Grant money may provide a solution to the
By RYAN HORNS
A recent conference call between Marysville officials
authorities could mean good news for critics of the East Fifth
railroad crossing closure.
At the request of Marysville City
Council, city law director Tim Aslaner
took on the crossing issue and was
able to make some headway.
During Mayor Tom Kruse's report to council
Thursday night, Kruse said
Aslaner set up a conference telephone call between
Dan Fogt, David Burke, Aslaner, and a representative of
the Ohio Rail
Development Authority. The point of the call was to address the
of the city closing the crossing.
Aslaner said the results of
that call could lead to federal grant money
to help upgrade the crossing and
open up the roadway to traffic. If all
goes as hoped, work on the crossing
could begin within a year. He said
after city council asked him to look into
the legal issues of the city
closing the crossing, he wanted to avoid being
the one "making the
decision if the crossing should be opened or
So he contacted PUCO and learned that statewide, the entity has the
authority on closing and opening railroad crossings.
Aslaner said he
also learned that PUCO is a part of the Ohio Rail
Commission, which in turn
is under the umbrella of the Ohio Department
of Transportation. By pursuing
this information, he discovered that
there is federal grant money the city
can apply for in order to fix the
East Fifth Street railroad crossing;
namely, to install proper warning
lights and crossing arms, which Kruse has
requested. The cost for that
project would be from $180,000 to
From this conference call, Aslaner said that getting the grant
pursue the project "appears very good. We're working towards opening
that crossing with it substantially improved."
He said the city would
be able to apply and pursue the money without
having to open up the crossing.
In the interim, he said Ohio Rail
Authority representative Susan Kirkland
recommended keeping the crossing
closed because of current traffic
Aslaner said Kirkland "understands the immediacy of the situation"
will "get back with us in a couple of weeks" on the result of the
He said the city could receive certain
percentages of funding from the
grant. The exact amount is unknown until the
application comes back. If
the city is granted the federal aid, then a
meeting would be set up
between city, council and railroad authorities in
order to decide what
exactly needs to be improved on the crossing, as well as
the costs involved.
"So that's where we are," Aslaner said. "Hopefully we
will know in a few
weeks if we're going to get any grant money."
President John Gore thanked Aslaner for his efforts.
"You did an outstanding
job of picking up the ball and running with it,"
he said. "You came through
for the city and the residents."
Gore also made it clear that although he and
the mayor may disagree on
whether to open the closed roadway, he also is "not
intent to open it
when it's not safe."
He added that when the City Gate
development comes in traffic will be
worse and "we won't be able to get
through town at all." He hopes to
discuss more with the rail authorities and
learn all the options for the
East Fifth Street crossing.
"I think it's a
lot of very good progress," Fogt said.
Kruse said whatever comes out of the
talks with the rail authorities,
the city still has issues with traffic
congestion moving east and west.
He said the recent traffic study performed
by DLZ engineers concluded
that, as time goes on, the problems would only get
worse. It stems from
retail developments growing within the city.
along with big box stores," Kruse said. "Clearly this town
wants the big box
To prepare for those, he said he is going to recommend the city go
the next phase and proceed with a second study "to determine
routes east and west through this town." He will soon come to
with a resolution to request that study.
Kruse said when the study
results come back he proposes presenting any
options to the public and
inviting them to meetings so they can offer
their input and help make a
decision on which option to choose.
"I hope council will be amenable to
approve the money," Kruse said.
Kentucky Fried Chicken owner Bob Whitter
asked what the city will do if
PUCO comes back with a decision that the
crossing doesn't need an upgrade.
Gore said the hope is that the grant
money will be made available.
Whitter also hopes that the city will ask the
opinions and input of rail
authorities regarding the crossing.
that the plan is to "work closely with the experts."
. Marysville Planning Commission members have begun dealing with
standards affecting "Old Marysville."
Planning Commission chairman
John Cunningham said that older homes in
the community were built before
current zoning laws were enacted.
Because of this, recent homeowners have
expressed problems trying to
upgrade, especially in regards to property
He said the issue will be an "ongoing discussion" with the
in the hopes to find a remedy.
. Councilman Mark Reams raised
discussion on the city finishing the
development of parks, which have already
. Gahanna resident Sharon Montgomery spoke to council, asking
would consider passing a resolution to support Senate Bill
Montgomery said she was the victim of a car accident which took the
of her husband. A person talking on a cell phone caused the crash.
hopes that someday lawmakers will begin to address the seriousness
people driving when distracted by cell phones. The man who killed
husband only received a misdemeanor citation for failure to
assured clear distance ahead. Upcoming laws may help make the crime
Gore said he shares her concerns and that he was almost hit
a man driving while talking on a cell phone. He promised to
resolution and come back to council.
124 marijuana plants
From J-T staff reports:
Detectives from the Union
County Sheriff's Office and agents with the
Ohio Bureau of Criminal
Identification & Investigation reported this
morning that they located
earlier this week a total of 124 marijuana
plants growing in areas around
Sheriff Rocky Nelson said every year agents and deputies fly
counties throughout Ohio looking for marijuana. This program is known
"We've flown Union County about every year looking for
growing marijuana, either on their own property or using area
open fields to grow their crop," Nelson said.
The street value of
the marijuana which was found on Tuesday totals
Nelson said he encourages citizens, especially local farmers, to
observant of activity in or around their fields. Residents
knowledge or suspicion of marijuana cultivation activity are urged
call the Sheriff's Office Crime Tip-Hot Line 642-7653.
looks to finance building purchase
By CORINNE BIX
Memorial Hospital of
Union County is taking the next step in the process
to purchase 388 Damascus
Road and 660 London Avenue from Memorial
Physicians Inc. (MPI.)
Thursday night, the board passed a resolution to be presented to the
commissioners specific to using bond financing when moving
forward with the
purchase as advised by the hospital's legal counsel.
commissioners, county prosecutor and the hospital board of
trustees have all
previously approved the purchase of the MPI properties
Thursday night's resolution would allow the hospital to refinance
debt while taking advantage of lower interest rates.
The board also
passed a resolution to be presented to the YMCA of Union
County in regard to
a 20-year lease agreement signed in March of 2003.
The hospital currently
leases 10,000 square feet of space, along with
the therapy pool, at the
YMCA's Charles Lane location. Per the original
agreement the hospital pays
$6,500 per month for 20 years along with
annual shell payments of
The approved resolution would present the YMCA with a new
which would eliminate the annual shell payment by allowing the
to pay one lump sum at the net present value of $234,000.
resolution will be presented to the YMCA board within the next month.
Hubbs, CEO/President, said that this might be of interest to the
it would provide them with ready cash to pay down debt.
Under the original
agreement, the YMCA would receive a total of $480,000
in shell payments over
the last 16 years of the lease contract.
The board was asked to complete
surveys in regard to the four-day
conference planned from Jan. 21 to 25. It
is expected that anywhere from
40 to 45 board members, administrative staff
and medical staff will be in attendance.
The conference will be in
Scottsdale, Ariz., and cost for the hospital
attendees will be budgeted for
in the 2007 fiscal year. Approximate cost
per person is estimated at
The next board of trustees meeting will be Sept. 28 at 8 p.m.
other news, the board:
.Approved a proposal by Chris Schmenk, board member,
to study the
possibility of becoming a smoke-free campus. The hospital
allows smoking in designated areas outside of the hospital
.Updated on first quarter data from Press Ganey in regard to
.Updated a meeting with Dave Blom, CEO for
Ohio Health, in regard to
concerns with aggressive recruiting (ie. cold
calling) of Memorial
practitioners for the new Dublin Methodist Hospital.
Hubbs said Blom
agreed that only passive competition between the two entities
would be tolerated.
.Approved committee reports for quality review and
.Approved the following medical staff in lieu of a joint
committee quorum: Department of Surgery, Anesthesiology - Mark
DO, Samuel Agubosim, MD, Iwona Biewalska, MD, and Eric Candler,
.Approved Urgent Care privileges for the following
practitioners staff in lieu of a joint conference committee quorum
Steven Draeger, MD, Balpreet Jammu, MD, Peter Hoy, DO, and
Everett, MD-ERCC (FM);
.Approved completed practitioners
application for the following staff in
lieu of a joint conference committee
quorum - Department of Medicine,
Family Medicine - Ahmed Jakda, MD and
Michael Miller, MD; Department of
Medicine, Allied Health Professional -
Maureen Koba, PA-C (to work in
ER) and Stephanie Young, PA-C (to work in
.Approved the following revisions to the credentials
Qualifications - 2.1 and Education 2.3-1 Revisions;
medical staff/allied health professionals policy for peer
.Approved core curriculum and delineation of privilege list in
.Updated the Ohio Attorney General
proposed rules on charitable transparency;
.Was informed of the $50,000
donation towards a CT scanner from the Richwood Bank;
information on the upcoming United Way fundraising.
on walking trail
From J-T staff reports:
A Marysville man who was reported
missing by his wife on Wednesday was
found dead in a Millcreek Park field by
a passerby Thursday evening. The
man was found a short distance from Simmons
According to Marysville Police officials, preliminary
indicate that Charles Bedoian, 49, of 785 Milcrest Drive, died
self-inflicted gunshot wound. The case remains under investigation
police and the Union County Coroner. An autopsy will be conducted at
Licking County Coroner's Office.
Fire alarm rings, but it's no drilll
Odor of smoke forces evacuation of East
Elementary, but classes resume
From J-T staff reports:
When the fire
alarm rang this morning at East Elementary School, it
wasn't the typical
beginning of the year drill.
A latch-key staff member reported smelling smoke
in the back hall of the
school located at the corner of Sixth and Chestnut,
said principal Missy
Hacket. School staff called for assistance at 9:42 a.m.
and fire engines
were enroute within two minutes. The hallway houses second
Marysville Fire Chief Gary Johnson said a prevention officer was on
scene within two minutes and his engines arrived within three minutes
receiving the call. Students returned to the building within the
"Everybody is safe. It could have been anything," Johnson
Johnson said the complaint is under investigation. Also responding
the alarm were engine companies from Allen, Jerome and Union
as well as the Marysville medic, chief and ladder, Johnson
Students waited patiently on the sidewalks with their teachers and
well prepared for the alarm after a fire drill Wednesday.
Schools Assistant Superintendent Neal Handler said everybody
was safe and
children were enjoying the weather.
911 consolidation nears
By RYAN HORNS
Union County and Marysville law
enforcement officials have just about
wrapped up a unifying 911 emergency
package for residents.
Both entities officially announced Monday that the
Union County 911 operations will be completed by Sept. 6.
inside the county, the move is expected to enhance
emergency situations. The result also means residents will
see a future
levy to help cover the costs.
Union County Sheriff's Office
Chief Deputy Tom Morgan said the county
will need the help of residents to
follow through with the program. The
Union County 911 levy is up for renewal
this fall and the 911 Technical
Advisory Committee (TAC) reported that
funding two Public Safety
Answering Points (PSAP) was not going to be
possible with rising
personnel and maintenance costs.
"Wise use of tax
dollars was an important theme that I wanted the TAC
committee to remember as
they looked into the best way to provide 911
service in Union County," Union
County Sheriff Rocky Nelson said. "Union
County voters will see a 0.75 mill
levy in November to cover 911 and
Public Safety Communication needs in the
"Our major concern was that the city residents do not experience
delay in our response," Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden
Morgan explained that the 911 consolidation was one of
recommendations adopted in the Amended 911 Final Plan for Union
which had not been updated since 1987.
Since July of 2005, he
said, the sheriff's office has been dispatching
for the Marysville Fire
Department, primarily through the Multi-Agency
Radio Communications System
Morgan explained that the introduction of Wireless 911
availability in Ohio prompted the Union County Commissioners to start
911 Planning Committee, consisting of Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse,
Township Trustee Ron Rhodes and County Commissioner Gary Lee.
committee then appointed the TAC, with members representing
enforcement, fire, emergency management and emergency medical
throughout Union County. The TAC studied the wireless issue, in
to voice-over Internet protocol (VOIP), and gave a look at how
entire county 911 system had been working.
Morgan said that since 1987
there have been two PSAPs in Union County,
one at the Marysville Police
Department and one at the Union County
Sheriff's Office. With the two
facilities only blocks apart, the TAC
felt that one tornado or other disaster
could disable both locations.
They ultimately recommended consolidating the
two into one answering
point and purchasing the necessary equipment that
would allow an
emergency 9/11 center to be set up in any area of Union
"There is a tremendous advantage to this approach," Lee said. "If
city were to be affected by a natural or man-made disaster, we
take the 911 center to the Richwood area or Jerome Township and
operational again in a matter of hours."
Morgan said Union County will
be backed up on regular basis by the Logan
County PSAP, which is housed at
the Logan County Sheriff's Office. Logan
County was chosen as the immediate
911 back up because both sheriff's
office's are serviced by Sprint which is
He said that after the consolidation the sheriff's office will
handling all 911 calls that originate from within the city
Marysville. Previously, the sheriff's office only handled wireless
calls that came from the county. The sheriff's office will be adding
additional 911 line to accommodate the increase in emergency calls.
Marysville Police Department will continue to dispatch emergency
non-emergency calls received through their dispatch center.
said when a 911 call from the city comes to the sheriff's office
immediately be dispatched over the Marysville police radio
sheriff's office will then obtain all pertinent
information from the caller
and forward that information to city police dispatchers.
The second phase
of the program solves the issue of residents who use
their cell phones to
call for emergency help. Through GPS tracking,
county dispatchers can locate
callers and immediately pinpoint them on a
map. It also solves the issue of
prank callers dialing 911 with cell phones.
Sheriff's office 911
Coordinator Anne Barr said that she uses her cell
phone all the time and with
the new consolidation dialing for help will
be available no matter where she
is in the county.
Groehl earns Eagle Scout award
From J-T staff
Nathan Groehl, 15, the son of Troy and Cheryl Groehl of Marysville,
earned the highest rank in scouting, Eagle Scout. Fewer than 3
of all Boy Scouts achieve the Eagle rank.
A member of Troop 355
which meets weekly at First Presbyterian Church,
Nathan has been involved in
scouts since first grade. While working his
way up through the scouting
ranks, Nathan earned his brotherhood in the
Order of the Arrow (O.A.). He
achieved his Boy Scouts of America
lifeguard certification and earned 32
merit badges. His high adventures
included sailing in the Florida Keys and
backpacking in New
Mexico with his troop.
Nathan's Eagle project consisted
of constructing bluebird houses and
posting tree identification signs in
Allen Township Park.
He has served as senior patrol leader, assistant senior
scribe, historian, librarian and O.A.
Nathan is a long-standing member of Trinity Lutheran Church.
He is a
sophomore at Marysville High School where he participates in show
cross country, swim team, track and youth group.
He plans to
continue to his involvement in Boy Scouts and to mentor
other scouts working
toward their Eagle rank.
Fairbanks board has new member
By KARLYN BYERS
resident Mark Lippencott became the newest member of
the Fairbanks Board of
Education Monday night. He was given the oath of
office by district treasurer
Lippencott, a lifelong resident of the school district,
Fairbanks High School in 1970 and from the Ohio State
1974. He holds a degree in journalism.
He is the father of
two children who attended the district's schools and
has been actively
involved in school sports.
Lippencott attends Milford Center United Methodist
Church, was a
six-year member of the United Way of Union County Board, where
served as president, and is a member of the Union Township
Commission and the Union County Fair Livestock Committee.
He is one
of nine applicants who aspired to fill the board position
created when Sherry
Shoots resigned in July. Lippencott is the third
board member who is a Honda
of America employee; Kevin Green and David
Huber also work for
Fairbanks Superintendent Jim Craycraft said Lippencott is on the
"for all the right reasons."
"He's interested in doing all he can
for the school district," Craycraft
said this morning.
The board also
approved an athletic contract to Barry Keith, varsity
baseball coach, ending
suspense over who would guide the Panthers'
baseball team next
Community members have been attending board meetings since June,
their support of the man who has coached the team for the past
Assistant coach and high school intervention specialist
had expressed an interest in Keith's job, and residents were
because Ohio Revised Code 3313.53 says that if a licensed faculty
in a school system desires a coaching position, he or she has the
opportunity as long as he or she has a background in the
Craycraft, though, said last month that the board had a policy in
that would allow it to choose who it thought was best qualified for
position. All it had to do was "follow the process," Craycraft
In other business, the board:
.Amended a suspension previously given
to six high school students after
an incident which took place on a high
school trip to Spain this summer.
The students involved will now serve a
five-day in-school suspension
instead of an out-of-school
.Approved an agreement for professional services with TMP
LLC and Ruscilli Construction Co. Inc. to serve as architect
construction manager respectively for construction of the district's
elementary school and renovations to the existing middle and high
.Approved athletic contracts for the 2006-2007 year to
eighth grade volleyball coach; Krista Fogle, seventh grade
coach; Steve Conley, assistant boys golf coach; Dan Stillings,
girls golf coach; Rob Riddle, boys varsity assistant basketball
Tyronne Hammond, reserve boys basketball coach; Scott Coon,
grade boys basketball coach; Conley, eighth grade boys basketball
and David Walker, volunteer girls soccer coach;
classified contracts for Connie Nicol, substitute cook and
educational aide; Kelly Hall, substitute secretary and
aide; Jennifer Picklesimer, substitute
educational aide; Teri Dunlap,
substitute educational aide; Linda
Lemaster, substitute cook; Becky Bennett,
substitute educational aide
and substitute cook; Brandi Vollrath, substitute
substitute cook; Greg Dellinger, substitute custodian; Lester
substitute custodian; Tracy Rausch, substitute secretary, cook
educational aide; Marla Arnold, AESOP manager; Martha
elementary cashier, one-year contract; Karen Benedict, special
aide, one-year contract; Mark A. Nicol, Steve Garrabrant, Nelson
Mills, Larry Nicol, Rhonda Fairchild and Mark Mehl, substitute
.Approved Michelle Scholl, coordinator, at $12 an hour, and
and Janet Bardin, team leaders at $10 an hour as Panther Paws
the 2006-2007 school year.
.Approved rates for the 2006-2007
Panther Paws program - Kinder Paws
program, $12 a day; after school Paws
rate for part-time pupil (two
days or fewer per week), $8 a day for first
child, $7, second child; $5,
additional children; after school Paws rate for
full-time pupil (three
days or more each week), first child, $35 per week,
second child, $30
per week, and additional children, $20 per week. A
registration fee is required for each child
.Approved supplemental contracts for the 2006-2007 year for
Hegenderfer, district lead mentor; Jennifer Cook and Nancy
district entry year teacher mentors; Joe Newell, team leader for
grade; Brenda Ward, team leader for sixth grade; Matt Humphrey,
leader for seventh grade, middle school ski club advisor; Beth
team leader for eighth grade, Power of the Pen advisor for eighth
middle school Student council advisor; Sarah Scott, Power of the
advisor for seventh grade; Lisa Studenmund, IAT coordinator;
Eberhard, Pat Lucas, Joe Newell, and Kristi Payne, IAT team
Jenny Harral, national junior honor society advisor; Chip
middle school yearbook advisor, outdoor education advisor; and
Moore, middle school Washington, D.C. advisor.
substitute teachers who are approved by the Delaware/Union
Service Center for the 2006-2007 school year.
.Transferred $12,500 from the
general fund to the athletic fund.
.Approved the 2006 financial reports as
presented by Johnson.
.Approved the 2006-2007 fiscal year beginning
by fund as presented.
.Approved the Wellness
.Conducted the first reading for a cell phone policy.
into executive session. No action was taken.
Jerome deals with housing
By CINDY BRAKE
"I'm back," said developer Paul Phillips to the
Jerome Township Board of
Trustees Monday during a public hearing held prior
to the regular meeting.
Phillips had previously asked the three-member
board to vacate its June
19 approval of Cambrian Development so he could
amend the plat to
include a roundabout.
Trustees Ron Rhodes, Bob Merkle
and Andrew Thomas unanimously approved
the amended petition. The petition
rezones 76.4 acres at 10045 Brock
Road and 9346 Industrial Parkway, Plain
City, as a planned unit
development. Proposed density is 1.75 units per acre
and is entirely
residential with 13.12 acres of open space for parks,
other open space uses.
Former trustee Freeman May credited
the developer for doing everything
that had been asked of him. May, however,
said he believed the amended
petition should have returned to the zoning
Trustees also opened a second public hearing to consider a
development plan for The Reserve at Sugar Run, to be located at
northwest corner of Taylor Road and Industrial Parkway. The Reserve
include 167 acres with 250 single family homes and approximately
condominium units. At the request of the project manager, the
tabled for 30 days the hearing. The hearing has been rescheduled
Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
A third public hearing considered revising a
concerning accessory buildings in undeveloped and
The board accepted the recommended changes.
the regular meeting, the board again voiced concern about
pseudo-governmental group calling itself the U.S. 33 Corridor
Committee or The Accord. The group is scheduled to meet tonight.
members said they believe the township is being singled out by the
that includes county officials as well a representatives from
Marysville and other townships.
The trustees also stated that they
believe proper protocol has not been
followed. In a previous township
meeting, trustee Rhodes said the
proposed Accord seeks to direct land use
along the U.S. 33 corridor. The
majority of the land is in Jerome
"We should not have to answer to the Accord," said trustee Merkle.
agreed to contact LUC executive director Jenny Snapp who is
The Accord meetings.
Key concerns center on Dublin not giving
up any undeveloped ground and
an imbalance of votes among governmental
entities, as well as the
appointed LUC director having voting
The trustees voted unanimously to join the Union County Chamber
Commerce and to review waste hauling bids.
The board also voted
unanimously to rescind a resolution that prohibits
engine braking. Sheriff
Rocky Nelson explained that the prosecutor has
advised that this resolution
is unenforceable. The trustees agreed to
study the matter and return with an
Nelson also asked the board for names to create focus
groups for the
upcoming police protection levy.
Freeman May addressed the
board about two concerns, one about the zoning
officer and the other about
the cost of a newsletter.
Numerous transfers were approved within the road
and bridge, gas,
capital improvement and unappropriated funds.
renews membership in coalition
By CHAD WILLIAMSON
One month after voting
to non-renew membership in the Ohio Coalition for
Equity and Adequacy in
Education, the North Union Board of Education
changed its mind.
meeting some board members noted that the coalition, which was
for filing a lawsuit which led to changes in school funding
program which has spurred construction in the North Union
served its purpose. Two of the four members in attendance
voted no on the
renewal, meaning the measure did not pass.
At Monday night's board meeting,
Bill Phillis, executive director of the
coalition, was on hand to explain to
the board what his group does.
Phillis noted that since the coalition won its
lawsuit in 1996, the
state has put $6 billion into school facilities.
litigation has been good for the state and it's been good for this
He noted that the coalition is currently working toward getting
constitutional amendment on the ballot which would eliminate
instability in the school funding system by moving it away from
property value based system. Phillis said the amendment should be
before voters in 2007.
The board went on to vote 4-1 to renew
membership in the coalition.
The district is also working toward creating a
system where some middle
school courses would be applicable for high school
credit. In order to
do so the course must have the same curriculum as the
high school course
and be taught by a highly qualified teacher.
superintendent Richard Smith Jr. said the algebra class at the
would currently qualify as such a class. Late in the year
the student would
have the option of choosing if the course counts
toward his or her high
school grade point average.
In other business, the board:
the North Union Hall of Pride ceremony will be Friday night.
$1,000 donation from Carol and Craig Young for a young
.Awarded a high school diploma to Marcus Klaiber of the
class of 2006.
.Approved a list of 11 students who wish to attend North Union
.Accepted the resignation of Paula Webb as a
cafeteria worker/cashier at
the middle school.
.Approved Rebecca German on
a one-year non-certified contract as a
cafeteria worker at the high
.Approved several lists of certified and non-certified
Triad prepares for annual audit
By CORRINE BIX
Board of Education approved a resolution on Monday night to
accept the lowest
and most responsible bidder by an independent public
accountant (IPA), Julian
and Grube, Inc. for the district's
state-mandated annual audit.
This is a
change from years' past where the district's audit was
conducted by the state
auditor's office. The suggestion to go with an
independent firm came from
district treasurer Maureen Scott, hired last November.
Scott worked for 19
years in the state auditor's office before coming to
Triad. She explained
that she had an opportunity when working for the
state to audit, Julian and
Grube's work which she described as
technically sound. Julian and Grube has
worked with countless schools
statewide and has conducted annual audits for
Big Walnut Local Schools
and the Madison/Champaign County Education Service
Center. The district
should find out within the next month if state auditor
authorizes the use of the IPA.
Scott said it's more cost
effective to petition the state and go with an
IPA. The district anticipates
saving $7,000 per year with the IPA.
"I am very confident that this is a good
firm to go with," Scott said.
Superintendent Dan Kaffenbarger said Monday's
district-wide meeting with
teachers and staff went well.
"We are starting
out on a very positive note," Kaffenbarger said,
referring to the district's
state report card. The district was given an
effective rating, up from the
year before when they were given a
continuous improvement. The district has
improved their performance
index score by 14.2 points over the past three
years. Kaffenbarger said
the state average is 19 points in seven
"We are not going to rest until we are an excellent district," he
"We hope to capitalize on the positive feelings with our staff
they are the reason why we've come so far."
updated the board on the District Improvement Team
(DIT) formed last school
year. The 24-member group, which was formally
known as the Superintendent's
Advisory Committee, includes teachers,
parents, board members, and
administration. The group's mission
statement is "successful learning today,
productive living tomorrow."
The group has focused on formulating a
district-wide plan that would
promote overall improvement and unit the goals
of the three buildings.
This year the group will review and update progress
The next board meeting will be Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. in the
In other news, the board:
. Recognized Jennifer
Reminder, intervention and behavioral specialist,
for receiving the statewide
Franklin B. Walter Outstanding Educator Award.
. Recognized Traci Boystel
and Kristin Ross as gold medal winners at the
. Accepted with regret, the resignation for the purpose of
secretary Patricia Ferryman effective Sept. 1.
the employment of Amanda Alexander as EMIS
. Approved the employment of Patrick Johnson as 1/7 social
. Accepted the resignation of Roxie Nauman as middle
school yearbook advisor.
. Approved the following supplemental positions:
Ross Cordell, football
volunteer at the middle school; Tony Pelfry and Robin
volunteers; Lori Moore, volleyball seventh grade; Shannon
volleyball eighth grade.
. Approved grant funded positions:
Crystall Burgel, SBR training
coordinator; Meredith Ford, extended day
coordinator and tutor; Jane
Runyan, intervention coordinator; Deb Alltop and
Mary Benge, extended day tutors.
. Approved permanent appropriations and
estimated resources resolution.
. Approved policies 5112, 5409, 5410, and
5464 related to whole grade
and subject area acceleration as required by the
. Approved lunchroom prices.
. Approved the agreement for
vision and impaired services through Logan
. Approved the
staff elementary handbook.
. Approved a student insurance program
administered by N. Carol
Insurance Agency, Inc. underwritten by Guarantee
Trust Life Insurance Co.
. Approved the student activity purpose and
practice statements for all
student activities except elementary yearbook.
statement is projected to be approved at the September
. Approved the $40,000 Literacy Improvement Grant ($20,000
literacy and $20,000 adolescent literacy).
. Approved the donation
of a deep fryer from the high school to the Triad Boosters.
. Approved the
donation of pictures with an estimated value of $20 from
Kyle Huffman to the
Triad Local Schools.
. Authorized the treasurer to make modifications to the
More arrests expected in heroin roundup
From J-T staff reports:
County arrests are expected to come out of a Drug Enforcement
investigation into a Mexican black tar heroin ring found
However, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Anthony Marotta said
morning that he cannot release any names just yet.
that there will be a future wave of additional
indictments in the
investigation," Marotta said.
Regarding a time-line for any indictments, he
said he could only specify
it may or may not happen in the next couple of
Marotta said those previously arrested in the roundup of indictments
suspects associated with the heroin ring are going through the
On Tuesday Union County Sheriff's Office investigators, working
behalf of DEA investigators, arrested a Marysville man and said
Union County person was to follow. That person has yet to be
by any agency.
Marotta said more indictments are expected to
follow in the central Ohio area.
Road work headaches won't stop school buses
By KARLYN BYERS
and detours are as inevitable in Central Ohio's summertime
as flies and
But when they drag into the start of school, those same closures
detours make school officials nervous.
Bus drivers and parents in the
Fairbanks School System have to cope with
the closure of the bridge spanning
Big Darby Creek in Milford Center, a
closure that will likely last several
Superintendent Jim Craycraft said only one bus route has had to
changed to accommodate the closure. The rerouting, which he
"minor," will take the bus onto Orchard Road and increase the route
about three miles. That means pupils may be picked up a little
and arrive home a little later than previously, he said.
is not the biggest problem, Craycraft said.
Routing detour traffic onto Route
38 has significantly increased vehicle
and truck traffic in front of
Fairbanks Middle and High schools and has
caused a "very dangerous"
situation, Craycraft said.
He is advising motorists to "drive slower and pay
attention" and is
talking to Darby Township trustees about additional signage
guardrails along the "S" curves just south of the schools.
has 13 buses covering 132 square miles per day. Its first day
of school is
Marysville's fleet consists of 31 bus drivers and 32 routes.
district covers 148.8 square miles transporting about 3,000 pupils.
first day of school is Monday, Aug. 21.
"As we look ahead to Monday
and back to school, one (big) potential
problem we foresee is that many
parents and students may not yet be
aware of several road projects that could
cause delays" said Tony
Eufinger, Marysville Exempted Village Schools
in a press release to the Journal-Tribune
Road work on Maple Street, Route 4 and Route 31 - three of the
roadways leading to the entrances of Marysville Middle and High
? will likely cause delays beyond what drivers might normally
Marysville Schools Superintendent Larry Zimmerman said in that
Zimmerman is asking families of middle school and high
heading back to school to allow extra time for the ride to
school and to
be prepared for likely traffic delays.
Intermediate families are being asked to allow extra time as
north on Route 31 from Marysville. Navin Elementary
families will be impacted
by the road work on Route 4 so those parents
also should allow extra
Jonathan Alder School District residents will be impacted by the
at U.S. 42 and Price Hilliard Road, where Ohio Department
Transportation workers will be straightening out the
Transportation to and from Canaan Middle School will be the
impacted, said Randy Wilson, JA assistant transportation
"I've been told it will be a couple more months before that
completed," he said.
Wilson added that construction of a turn
lane at the new high school on
U.S. 42 is scheduled to begin the week of Aug.
20, but is not expected
to impede back-to-school traffic.
School District has 21 regular bus drivers running dual
routes - fifth
through 12th-graders on the first run and kindergarten
on the second run. Its first day of school is Aug. 29.
transportation supervisor at North Union Local Schools,
projects have more or less been "continuous" all
summer in that school
"They've pretty much been ongoing," he said. "Everybody's got their
to do and we have to get around it."
Tidd said bus drivers do a good
job spotting road closure signs and
passing the word along, and he gets a
fairly good flow of information
via e-mail from the township, county and
North Union's first day of school will be Sept. 6. Its 160
are covered by 13 bus routes; 12 double runs and one single
Carol Combs, transportation coordinator at Triad Local Schools, said
was "thankful" bus drivers didn't have to cope with
construction problems this year.
"This is the first time we
haven't had something going on that we didn't
have to detour around," she
Triad does transport some preschoolers into Urbana, where there are
streets torn up, Combs added.
Triad will have 12 buses on the road
driving high school and middle
school pupils on one run and elementary pupils
on the second run. Its
first day of school will be Thursday, Aug.
Trinity Lutheran School also will begin Monday; St. John's and
Paul's Lutheran schools will begin Tuesday.
Marysville High School students also should remember that
the new bell
schedule will have them starting school 15 minutes earlier
this year at 7:25
The new Creekview Intermediate schedule begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends
3:25 p.m. Creekview students will ride on buses with elementary
for the first time this year.
All Marysville elementary schools
will continue to start class at 9
a.m., but end their day 15 minutes later at
3:45. The Middle School
schedule remains unchanged at 7:33 a.m. to 2:30
The schedule changes have helped even out the number of
passengers on Marysville's school buses, reported Thursday's
release. Last year, Marysville Schools transported more than 800
kids on the high school/middle school/intermediate routes than on
later elementary routes.
The new routes not only give students extra
time in school, but will
also save the Marysville School District money by
offsetting the need to
purchase several additional buses.
destroy family's hopes for a bright future
By CINDY BRAKE
Lisa and Larry
Preece have nothing, absolutely nothing, after a fire
destroyed their home
Wednesday. Yet, they still believe their future is
bright and are grateful
for all who have come to their rescue.
"A new beginning" is how Mrs. Preece
describes their current
circumstances. "I thank God my family is
"We're making the best of a bad situation," said Mr. Preece. "We've
Their home, built in 1892 and owned by his parents, was
destroyed by an
electrical fire Wednesday afternoon. They had lived in the
home for 10
years and remodeled the interior, including replacing the home's
Mr. Preece said the old farm house's exterior appearance did not
the structure's true condition.
With no insurance, they have lost
18 years of their lives including a
treasured puppy and family antiques.
Miraculously, birth certificates
and their marriage license managed to
survive. The documents were tucked
inside their son's baby book in an antique
wooden china cabinet. The
only other object to make it through the fire is
son Nicholas's first
gun. All their money was also in the house.
Preece said she was enjoying a cool breeze on the porch with their
Doberman named Trooper Wednesday afternoon. While talking on
the telephone to
her husband, she heard a crackling sound after being
outside for 30 minutes.
When she looked inside, she saw the living room
engulfed in flames and lots
of smoke. Unfortunately, Trooper jumped and
ran into the house. Mr. Preece
and his 16-year-old son found the pet
among the burned debris in the kitchen
The house has now been leveled and the Preeces are making
"I'm coming back," Mr. Preece said.
They hope to move a modular
home they own in Kentucky to the property
that has been in their family for
nearly 30 years. Friends have offered to help.
But for now, the family is
living in a local hotel and grateful for
vouchers to buy food, clothing and
medication. They say Red Cross
disaster services volunteer Renee Hatfield of
Marysville is an angel.
The Union County Chapter of the American Red Cross
services, as well as military and blood services and health
training. Volunteers, blood donors and financial donations are
Anyone wishing to help the Preece family can contact the
local Red Cross
chapter at 642-6651.
Accused bus driver
tells her side of story
By CINDY BRAKE
Sharon Kissling wants to tell her
Since submitting her resignation as a bus driver, she says that she
now sell her new home, will have no insurance and no income because
three upset parents using their children to gain an advantage over
Marysville School administration through her.
"I have no more money to
fight. No more money for my attorney," Kissling
wrote in a three-page letter
to the Marysville Journal-Tribune.
Kissling's name first made the news when
the Marysville Board of
Education fielded complaints from three mothers -
Sharon Putney of
Raymond, Debbie Gilbert of Raymond and Jackie Schertzer of
Mansfield. Each said her daughter was traumatized or injured
riding a school bus driven by Kissling. Putney contacted the
Division of Police Aug. 14 about the May 3 incident and it is
"I am faced with the false accusations of three upset
parents," Kissling wrote.
Kissling, a bus driver for 23 years, was
suspended 10 days because she
"applied brakes in an improper manner and for
an improper purpose to
discipline students," states a June 14 letter from
Zimmerman to Kissling. She was also expected to perform
an in-service on
student management techniques this summer and be reassigned
this fall to
a new route.
"It is my expectation that you will return to
work in the fall prepared
to safely operate the vehicle and not utilize
yelling and/or unsafe
driving techniques in order to maintain control of
students who are
riding on the bus," Zimmerman wrote.
Kissling of West
Mansfield, submitted a termination of employment letter
on Aug. 1. The board
has yet to act on the request.
"It is with heartfelt sadness that I send this
letter to serve as my
three-week notice to resign my position as bus driver
for the Marysville
School System. With all that has been allowed to happen to
your school district, I do not feel I can continue to work in
environment. I am also attaching my statement refuting the
made by the board ... ," Kissling writes.
After driving school
bus for 15 years with the North Union School
District, Kissling then began
driving for the Marysville School
District. The only evaluation in her file,
dated 2001, states that she
was "very cooperative, flexible and interested"
in her job ... greeted
students in a friendly manner, made sure aisles were
clear and had
excellent attendance. A 2005 letter from the transportation
states that Kissling has "been a very faithful bus driver for
Schools and we want that relationship to continue in the
Every year Kissling received raises and her hours were increased
She was reprimanded twice - one for leaving her keys in the bus
another time for improperly applying her brakes. The past two years
drove the Raymond route on bus 24. The route included 48 middle
high school students.
She states that the past school year was
peppered with various problems
involving the three children and their
parents. Kissling believes she is
being falsely accused because of the
"I feel that I was doing my job. All parents, educators
and any persons
involved with the well-being of children should consider it
Otherwise, we shall fail miserably," Kissling writes.
said the latest complaint by the mothers occurred when the
standing prior to her coming to a stop.
"I asked them to sit down and they
did not. I knew that I was stopping
soon and needed them to sit before they
would be hurt when I came to a
stop. I lightly touched my brakes to let them
know I was slowing down
and then re-applied to come to a complete stop,"
"I reminded the children of the rules of the bus and that
remain seated at all times. Unbeknownst to me, Amanda told her
that I had slammed my brakes and she fell into the aisle and down
stairs of the bus. This is a false accusation and can be
disproved by the video running at all times on my
Assistant superintendent Neal Handler said, on the advice of
counsel, video and audio tapes cannot be released. He stated that
video is "inconclusive" about whether a child fell. He adds that
medical bills were paid by the district for the three
Kissling, who has viewed the video, said it shows "absolutely
the day of the alleged incident. No movement of bodies other
ordinary activity. Had I really 'slammed' my brakes would you not
seen heads coming forward ... You will not see it, not on any portion
that tape! Because it is not true!"
Kissling said she has been told
that one of the children is now bragging
about how she got the 'mean bus
"I wonder if any of the parents of these girls have tried to
find out if
they are lying or are they lying because their parents are
to do so?" Kissling said. "Have they made their children
exactly what their actions will cause? What are these children
Marysville to set up Citizen Police
From J-T staff reports:
Ever wanted to join the police as they
make an arrest or chase a
speeding driver? Perhaps have a look into
It is this natural interest people have for police
work that has spawned
the Marysville Citizen Police Academy.
Assistant Police Chief Glenn Nicol said the hope is to use
the new program to
find another way to work with the public, opening up
the communication lines
and giving residents a chance to get to know the
officers in their
For people who always ask what police do all day, Nicol said, this
be their education into all facets of the job.
He pointed out that
the academy is not intended to make citizens into
police officers, nor is it
a branch of neighborhood watch training. He
said a good summation of the
academy is "an intense tour of the police
department here in the
Included in the course are reviews in police division overview,
criminal justice system, patrol procedures, CSI Marysville, response
resistance and self-defense, drug investigations, tactical
domestic violence (VOCA), firearms demonstrations, civilian ride
and a final review on graduation day.
Nicol said each topic will
offer different speakers or trained officers
to address the areas in which
they are trained.
Citizens that participate will learn more about the
general functions of the police. The division hopes to utilize
program in an effort to promote a community policing concept
genuinely be "partners with the community."
There is no cost,
according to an information sheet on the Citizen
Police Academy, and the
classes are held at the Marysville Police
Department. All participants
receive a free shirt.
The program will be held Mondays from 6:30 to 9 p.m.
starting Sept. 11
and will run for 10 consecutive weeks.
According to an
informational pamphlet, if a person lives or works in
Marysville and is at
least 21 years old, they may fill out an
application for the course.
receive an application, stop by the police department office or
online from the police department link on the city Web site
School construction plan outlined
By KARLYN BYERS
Village Schools is about to embark on two major
construction projects. The
first, construction of a combined middle and
intermediate schools, is
scheduled to begin in September or October. The
second, a major renovation of
the high school, will begin in the spring.
It was the former, however,
that Marysville Schools Superintendent Larry
Zimmerman wanted to discuss with
the public Wednesday in a special
community meeting held at the high
Zimmerman, Andrew Maletz of Steed/Hammond/Paul architectural firm
Steven Korte of Kleingers & Associates engineering and
fielded questions and explained the various facets of
170,000-square-foot school building that will be constructed on
formerly owned by the Bunsold family.
Construction on the project
will begin in "March-ish," according to
Zimmerman, and is scheduled for
completion in August 2008. Site work
will be completed this fall, so the
ground can settle over the winter
and go through the freeze and thaw
By combining intermediate and middle school populations into
building, the school district can save money. Although the two
groups will be separated into separate wings, one kitchen will
the entire building, as will one heating/cooling system. The
center and 500-seat auditorium also will be shared.
when school begins Monday, 5,500 pupils will enter the
System. He anticipates a student population of 6,000
in two years, and
expects that in roughly 10 years the new
intermediate/middle school will
When that happens, the new building will convert to a middle
building and a second intermediate school will be constructed on
same site, a location that at 162 acres is actually large enough
handle a second high school.
The former Bunsold property is currently
located in Paris Township, and
the school is in the process of applying for
annexation to the city of
Marysville, Zimmerman said.
"The city has told
me up front that in order to get water and sewer we
must annex," he
Zimmerman added that he wanted city utilities because he didn't want
deal with the added cost of drilling a well and constructing an
The school will be situated at Route 4 and U.S. 36.
All entrances and
exits will begin and end on Route 4, and turn lanes will be
to facilitate traffic flow. There will be no traffic light,
said several times.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has to
approve the installation of
any traffic device, and it has expressed
reluctance to install a traffic
The school site drains into
the Big Darby Watershed. Because of that,
additional measures will have to be
implemented to avoid run-off. A
two-acre retention pond and drainage system
will be installed, Zimmerman
and Maletz said, and water flow controlled to
prevent soil erosion.
The roughly 120,000 cubic yards of dirt that will be
removed to create
the pond will be used to build up the building pad, Korte
Although there will be no outdoor recesses, physical education
and sports activities will be scheduled outside. But because
will be about three-fourths of a mile away and numerous trees
remain, noise should not be a problem, Zimmerman said.
will be taken into consideration. All outdoor fixtures
will direct light
downward, so there will be no horizontal spillover and
School officials will have to ask for a variance on signage
Paris Township zoning limits outdoor signs to one per property and
school district will need two - one denoting the intermediate school
a second pointing out the middle school, Zimmerman said.
people attended the meeting, including school board members
Bill Hayes, Jeff
Mabee and Tom Brower.
Zimmerman said thanks to a ballot issue passed by
residents last August, the new construction projects will be
Local men arrested in national heroin sting
Two Union County men have been arrested for their alleged role in
national investigation into a black tar heroin ring out of Mexico.
County Sheriff's Lt. Jamie Patton reported this morning that on
6:44 a.m., investigators arrested Nathan Lewis, 29, at 18030
Timber Trails on
a federal arrest warrant for two charges related to
conspiracy to distribute
and possession with the intent to distribute heroin.
Patton said the
arrest went without incident and Lewis was immediately
Columbus authorities in charge of the investigation.
Administration (DEA) Assistant Special Agent in Charge
Anthony Marotta said
this morning that a second Union County person was
arrested in the federal
round-up, however, the name of that person was
not available to him before
Patton said that the name of the person has not been provided to
County authorities, as the warrant is still pending.
A follow up on
that arrest is expected in a future edition of
Marotta said that the two arrests in Union County
were part of a nine-
month investigation by the DEA, in conjunction with
authorities in Ohio. He explained that a Mexican drug
two major cells - which agents were able to uncover -
working in central Ohio.
Once the black tar heroin made it to Ohio, he
said, the drug was then
sold to local dealers who then distributed it in
smaller amounts to individuals.
Marotta said Lewis and the second Union
County man arrested were
allegedly part of that second retail tier, often
selling it an ounce at a time.
"That was his role," he said of Lewis.
"What you had was a lot of these
were being purchased at a shopping center -
the Kroger Shopping Center
The Kroger grocery store
he referred to is located approximately 20
minutes from Marysville, just
outside of Union County and off of U.S. 33
the DEA's investigation was extensive, resulting in
six wiretaps and seven search warrants. The
investigation concluded with 28
indictments of people in the central
Ohio area who were allegedly working in
conjunction with the drug ring
out of Mexico. To date, federal authorities
have been able to locate 20
of the suspects - all of whom are currently in
Marotta said that out of the central Ohio roundup agents also
assault rifles, two loaded revolvers, around $50,000 in cash and
confiscation of approximately 1 kilo of black tar heroin.
did not specify what, if any, contraband was related to Lewis'
Playing a large role in the federal investigation, Marotta said,
Union County Sheriff's Office investigators who worked alongside
Whether the drug's existence in Marysville and Union County
extensive, the investigator did not say. However, on Tuesday
local medics responded to Caddie Drive in the city for a
'I don't tinker with people's lives'
Mayor Kruse holds firm on stance to keep
rail crossing closed
By RYAN HORNS
Marysville Mayor Tom Kruse said he is
firm on his stance that opening
the East Fifth Street railroad crossing would
be a safety hazard for residents.
"I don't see it any other way," Kruse
said at the Tuesday night
Marysville Public Service meeting.
To start the
meeting, a DLZ Ohio engineer representative provided his
update on the Draft
Report traffic study including Fifth Street at the
Five Points intersection
to Coleman's Crossing. The ultimate conclusion
was that the crossing should
The study also proposes extending East Sixth Street so it
connection from Columbus Avenue to East Fifth Street, which then
U.S. 33 to Watkins Road. But the engineer said a connection
actually extend from any road, including Seventh or Ninth
Councilman Dan Fogt took issue with the reference to the
closure receiving "several" complaints from residents. He said it
more like "hundreds" of complaints.
City engineer Phil Roush said that
by the 2026 projection stated in the
report, if East Fifth Street remains
open then the Five Points
Intersection "becomes a parking lot" from
To the dozen residents and business owners at the meeting, it
neither the answer they wanted to hear, nor the answer they believed
be the reality of the crossing situation.
Several residents said if the
issue were money, then they would band
together and help raise the cash to
fix the crossing. If the issue is
traffic, then none can see the logic in
road conditions being any better
with the crossing closed. If the issue is
safety, most agreed that the
conditions are more dangerous than they were
Business owner Harold Green recalled that safety was the big issue
the mayor closed the crossing. Now the crossing has been repaired and
safer. History has shown traffic accidents have never been an
there. He also pointed out that the DLZ study states that it
matter if the crossing remains closed or open ? so why not open
In regards to traffic, Green said the majority of drivers wanting to
East Fifth Street would be accessing businesses such as 84
Wal-Mart, Home Depot, YMCA, the daycare facilities, or the new
facilities. That would free up traffic from Delaware Avenue to
"I think you are underestimating the amount of vehicles who
down East Fifth Street," Fogt said.
If safety is the mayor's
concern, then Green said Kruse should consider
the new hazards that came with
closing the crossing. With the new
congestion on Delaware Avenue, his wife
was caught in a three-car pile
up and taken to the hospital. He said the
crash caused the 4:45 p.m.
after work traffic to line up down the road on
either side, and "it took
medics forever to get there." If the fire
department could have accessed
East Fifth Street, they would have been there
"What if my wife had laid there and bled to death?" he said.
also didn't agree with the figures in the study claiming problems
traffic in the future.
"None of us in this room is smart enough to know what
we will need by
2026," Green said.
Councilman Ed Pleasant expressed
concern for the plight of the
businesses in the area.
One female resident
said it seems as if Kruse knows the businesses are
suffering and really
doesn't care. Another man said those businesses
have been paying taxes for
years, which have benefited the city.
Lil' Tykes Daycare owner Nicole Coy
said when a juvenile recently pulled
the fire alarm at the facility, it took
the fire department 17 minutes
to show up. The fire crews could not get the
ladder truck to the
building because of the crossing closure. They finally
had to cut
through the Taco Bell parking lot.
"What if there was a fire?"
Coy said. "It's a huge concern."
But Kruse was not convinced, saying that by
opening up the crossing more
cars will mean more chances for a fatal
"I'm not willing to take that chance at this crossing," Kruse
Resident Martha Kramer said a person could get killed simply crossing
street. So what is the big deal?
"It's a big deal," Kruse said. "I
don't tinker with people's lives."
Other residents pointed out that there are
crossings in town that also
lack crossing arms and lights. Should the city
close down the Industrial
Parkway crossing too?
"You may not like me,"
Kruse told the people in the room. "I suppose
some of you may not vote for me
He said he has nothing to gain and nothing to lose for keeping
crossing closed, "except for the comfort in my own mind of doing what
was supposed to do."
Fogt mentioned a special stop sign outside of the
Dublin Jerome High
School, which has flashing lights around its perimeter.
The sign would
work for the East Fifth Street railroad crossing. He said PUCO
$5,000 grant that would help pay for the $6,000 cost of lighted
Coy then pointed out that a letter from PUCO has stated that if
provides a 24-hour count for the crossing then the city could apply
a grant to pay for lights and gates. Then money would not be an
But they cannot apply for the grant unless they open up the
The owner of Kentucky Fried Chicken on Delaware Avenue asked if the
had the money to spend would they fix it?
Kruse said that if the city
had the money to spend it would be a
"tremendous waste of city resources" to
focus on the crossing.
Green asked about the feasibility of citizens getting
writing up a ballot issue to have everyone vote on opening the
Fifth Street crossing.
Kruse said that is definitely an option for
North Union, Triad improve scores
Marysville, JA maintain
"excellent" ratings on school report cards
By KARLYN BYERS
districts in the Union County area received better marks from
Department of Education on its Annual Report on Educational
North Union and Triad Schools received "effective" ratings from the
in the 2005-2006 school year, going from "continuous
ratings in the 2004-2005 school year.
Village Schools and Jonathan Alder Local Schools
received "excellent" ratings
on the report issued Tuesday.
Fairbanks also received an "effective" rating,
according to the ODE "report card."
Eight out of every 10 districts in the
state (491 out of 610) received
"excellent" or "effective" grades, reported
Mitchell D. Chester,
associate superintendent of policy and accountability,
in a Monday
afternoon conference call.
Mitchell also reported Ohio no
longer has any district in "academic
emergency" and only seven remain in
Marysville and Jonathan Alder also received the "excellent"
2004-2005. Fairbanks also received an "effective" grade in
Performance Index Scores which measure the achievement of every
pupil, not just those who score proficient or higher, rose from
percent to 99.2 percent in Marysville; from 94.7 percent to
percent at Jonathan Alder; 93.3 percent to 95.8 percent at
89.1 to 95.9 percent at North Union; and 88.8 to 92.6 percent at
This is the fourth year of Ohio's new accountability system,
measures current achievement as well as improvement and incorporates
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements of the federal "No
Left Behind" Act. Previously, districts and schools were measured
on the number of state indicators they achieved, according to the
Marysville, Jonathan Alder, Fairbanks, North Union and Triad all did
meet the AYP determination during the 2005-2006 school year,
to ODE data. Statewide, only 31.6 percent of Ohio's 610 school
met the criteria.
"Fewer schools and districts met AYP this
year. The schools and
districts that missed AYP demonstrated the lowest
students with disabilities, economically disadvantaged
black students," reported an ODE news release.
the ODE report, AYP measures whether schools and districts
have gaps in
achievement among groups of students.
Although statewide reading scores
remained flat since last year, more
than three-fourths of students are
proficient or better compared to less
than one-half in 1995-1996, the first
year of statewide reading tests,
the ODE reported.
The percentage of
Marysville's third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, seventh-
and eighth-graders who
passed the reading achievement tests registered
in the 80 and 90 percent
range, with the highest percentage - 92.9
percent - occurring among pupils
who scored proficient or higher on the
sixth grade reading achievement test.
Tenth-graders take the Ohio
Graduation Test; Marysville sophomores who scored
proficient or higher
was 88.4 percent. The cumulative percentage of 11th
grade students who
scored proficient or higher on the reading Ohio Graduation
Test was 94.4
percent last school year.
The percentage of Jonathan Alder's
third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-,
seventh- and eighth graders who passed the
reading achievement tests
registered from 78.4 percent at the fourth-grade
level to 95.9 percent
at the seventh-grade level. The percentage of
10th-graders who scored
proficient or higher in the reading Ohio Graduation
Test was 94.1
percent, with a cumulative percentage of 11th grade students
proficient or higher on the reading Ohio Graduation Test at
Fairbanks' reading percentage registered from 62.5 percent
number of third-graders who scored proficient or higher on the
achievement test to 94.8 percent of sophomores who scored proficient
higher on the reading Ohio Graduation Test. Its cumulative percentage
11th grade students who scored proficient or higher on the
test was 98.9 percent during the 2005-2006 school year.
Union's lowest reading score - 73.0 percent - occurred on the
reading achievement test. Other reading test scores were in
the 80 percent
range. Its percentage of 10th grade students who scored
proficient or higher
on the reading Ohio Graduation Test was 92.7
percent, while its 11th grade
cumulative percentage was 95.4 percent.
Percentages of pupils who passed the
reading achievement test at Triad
ranged from 63.3 percent on the fifth grade
test to 80 percent on the
seventh grade test. The percentage of 10th grade
students who scored
proficient or higher on the reading graduation test was
95.1, with a
cumulative percentage of 11th grade students scoring 95.8
percent on the
For the eighth year in a row, Ohio's
graduation rate increased,
according to the ODE. In 2004-2005 (the most
recent year of available
data), 86.2 percent of Ohio students graduated from
compared to 79.8 percent in 1996-1997.
Graduation rates at
Marysville, Jonathan Alder, Fairbanks, North Union
and Triad were above the
state average, at 95.6 percent, 89 percent,
95.8, 93 and 91.8 percent
Additional Report Card information may be found at the Ohio
of Education Web site at www.ode.state.oh.us/reportcard/
Alleged abuse detailed
Couple enter not guilty pleas; court documents give
clues to some
From J-T staff reports:
Facing more than 63
combined counts of child abuse, a Springfield-area
husband and wife entered
not guilty pleas at their arraignments in Union
County Common Pleas Court
Court reports show James Ferguson, 46, faces 30 counts, all
third-degree felonies, ranging from endangering children and
child abuse, to felonious assault against his five adopted
crimes allegedly occurred between July 24, 2000 to Nov. 19,
couple had lived at homes on Holycross Epps Road and on Patricia
Court reports indicate Mr. Ferguson was an employee of Honda of
His wife, Vonda Ferguson, 43, faces more serious charges such
first-degree felony rape, along with similar second- and
felonies of assault, permitting child abuse and endangering the
Just after 11 a.m. today the Fergusons pleaded not guilty
County Judge Richard Parrott. Scheduling conferences were set
6 at 1:45 p.m. for Mrs. Ferguson and another for Sept. 14 at 8:30
for Mr. Ferguson.
The Bill of Particulars, which explain the
specifics of the alleged
crimes, has not been released. However, a discovery
filed with the case
today includes the transcript of a tape recorded
interview with James
Ferguson conducted by a Union County Sheriff's
The line of questioning and some of Mr. Ferguson's responses
details about the nature of some of the abuse claims.
In the court
papers Mr. Ferguson describes hitting the children with a
belt, a piece of
window trim wrapped in duct tape and his hand. He
admitted that some of the
spankings resulted in the children's underwear
being stained with
In fact, Mr. Ferguson said that his wife at times required him to
the children until they bled.
"She says to me ... you didn't hit 'em
long enough. I want to see
blood," he said.
Mr. Ferguson said the beatings
would last from 2 to 5 minutes and
occurred daily. At one point Mr. Ferguson
said he took the metal clasp
off of his belt because it dug into his hand as
he whipped the children.
The questions by the investigator give light to
the claims of abuse made
by the children. Mr. Ferguson denied many of the
Those allegations include:
. An incident in which one of the
children may have sustained a broken
leg at the hands of Vonda Ferguson.
An incident in which Vonda Ferguson stuck a plunger handle down the
one of the children.
. An incident in which one of the children was dangled
over a banister,
8-10 feet above the floor.
. An incident in which a child
was placed in a tub of scalding bathwater.
. Incidents in which the
children were given rotten food to eat or
spoiled milk to drink.
Incidents in which childrens' heads were held under water as punishment.
Incidents in which some of the children were made to wear urine
underwear on their heads.
. Incidents in which children were kicked
in the stomach or chest.
. Incidents in which "soiled" rags were stuffed in
the childrens' mouths.
. Allegations of using makeup to cover scars on the
Mr. Ferguson is being represented by Dublin attorney Kerry Donahue
his wife is being represented by Springfield attorney Gregory
Donahue complained to Parrott that the indictments against Mr.
are "defective." He also requested a change in court venue to
outside of Union County. He said prosecutors "have no evidence of
crime even occurring in Union County."
If convicted, Union County
Prosecutor David Phillips said possible life
in prison could await the
Fergusons for the alleged abuse.
Fairbanks names high school
From J-T staff reports:
Fairbanks School Board members hired
Thomas Montgomery as high school
principal Monday night, granting the Wells
Road resident a three-year contract.
The decision was made in a special 5
p.m. meeting, one in which board
members also accepted the resignation of
Jeff Parker, high school
principal during the 2005-2006 school
Montgomery has been assistant principal for the past nine years
Franklin Heights High School in Franklin County.
He holds a bachelor's
degree in education and athletic training from
Wilmington College and a
master's degree in education administration
from the Ohio State
He and his wife, Donna Morley Montgomery, a FHS graduate who
children's minister at Jerome United Methodist Church, are the
of three sons, James, 7, David, 4, and Daniel, 15 months.
Montgomery said his mother-in-law used to drive a school bus for
Fairbanks District and he and his family live on the same road on
his wife grew up.
It is a "principal's dream" to be able to live and
work in the school
district which his children will attend, he
Montgomery also cited the family atmosphere in the school district,
way residents support the schools, and academic excellence as
The Fairbanks community has good morals and ethics, he said,
"It's where I want to raise my family."
In other business, the
.Approved certified contracts for Thomas Tate, elementary teacher,
Sarah Shaffer, long-term substitute teacher who replaces Pam Hammond
is on a one-year leave of absence. Both are effective for the
2006-2007 school year.
.Accepted the resignation of Karen Thomas,
.Approved the district technology teacher leader as a
contract to be added to the negotiated contract.
the first reading of the Wellness Policy.
.Entered into executive session to
discuss the selection of a new board
member to succeed Sherry Shoots, who
resigned July 11 to spend more time
with her family. The new board member
will be announced at the regularly
scheduled meeting Aug. 21.
officials consider fourth levy try
By CORINNE BIX
The Jonathan Alder Board
of Education meeting Monday was bittersweet as
board members pondered how to
approach the next election while
celebrating forecasted news that the
district will receive an excellent state rating.
The district will return
to the voters for a fourth time in November
after residents voted down an
emergency 5.9 mills property tax levy for
operating costs last week. In Union
County the issue failed 51.17
percent to 48.83 percent. There were 417
against and 398 votes for the
property tax. In Madison County the issue went
down 54.1 percent to
45.85 percent. There were 919 votes against the property
tax and 778 for
the tax. If it had passed, the temporary levy would have
for the next five years and then expire.
This property tax
levy came after two income tax levies were defeated
this past February and
The district will begin implementing level one internal cuts
eliminate $300,000. This will include freezing the operating budget
not purchasing textbooks, miscellaneous supplies and purchasing only
versus three buses.
Last night the board approved purchasing one bus
from Cardinal bus sales
Superintendent Doug Carpenter said
the need for one bus is necessary and
ideally the district would purchase two
to three buses to properly turn
over the bus fleet.
"To safely transport
students, we have to buy one," Carpenter explained,
"We can't put kids at
The board took some time brainstorming as to how to approach the Nov.
The state board of education requires school districts
that may have a
levy on the upcoming ballot to pass an initial resolution to
process. For the November ballot, the deadline to run an income tax
is Aug. 14 and the deadline to run a property tax levy is Aug. 18.
Aug. 10, the board met for a special meeting and passed the
resolution for the income tax option and last night passed the
resolution for the property tax levy. By passing both resolutions
district essentially buys themselves more time to research more on
will be the better received of the two levy options in November.
board will need to make a final decision by Aug. 24. It has a work
scheduled for Saturday to discuss the issue further and review
The board is considering running an .75 percent earned
income tax levy.
Carpenter said the earned income tax levy is an
attractive option because it
only taxes individuals currently earning
money. Seniors receiving pensions
and/or retirement payments would not
be affected. In addition there is no tax
on dividends or estates.
Elizabeth Beach, director of teaching and learning
for the district
reported that the district is projected to receive an
as determined by the state's report card
Preliminary results show the district met 24 out of 25 of the
indicators, falling short on the graduation rate requirement.
John Adams, board member, gave the facilities report and said the
field house is fully operational. This past weekend several
soccer scrimmages were held.
The next regular board meeting will be Monday,
Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.
In other news, the board:
. Set Jonathan Alder High
School textbook distribution times at the high
school library: Aug. 22-23
noon to 8 p.m., Aug. 25 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.,
Aug. 28, 2:30 p.m. to 6
. Approved the financial report for July 2006
. Approved a liability
and fleet/property program for 2006-2007
. Approved request by treasurer to
allow "E-Collect" to collect on bad checks
. Approved the resignations of:
Pat Sukalich, speech and language
pathologist; Scott Davis, high school
social studies teacher and varsity
boys basketball coach; and Andy Clark,
assistant boys high school
. Approved the following
employees: Ann Davis, summer tutoring for the
Ohio Graduation Test, 144 hours
at $20/hour; Amy Egolf, junior high
intervention specialist; Harriet
Merriman, teacher leader at junior
high; Kelly Hicks, teacher leader at Plain
City Elementary; Donna
McBride, K-1 summer school intervention teacher
(8/7-8/18 at $20 per
hour); Steve Dedent, head boys' basketball coach; Bart
studies teacher; Kristi Reynolds, sophomore class advisor;
volunteer high school football coach; Jessica Obringer, volunteer
soccer; Michelle Wright, student tutor at $20/hour.
. Approved the
following open enrollment students: Benjamin Early, first
grade at Monroe;
Kaylin Glennan, 12th grade at Tolles; Jordan
Hutchinson, seventh grade at the
junior high; Zachary Baugess, 11th
grade at Tolles only; Michelle Mulier,
11th grade at Tolles only; Amber
Harrington, 12th grade at JAHS; Heather
Rupert, 12th grade at Tolles
only; Troy Parks, first grade at Plain City;
Justice Palmer, third grade
at Monroe; Spencer Palmer, first grade at
. Approved proposed policy on acceleration required by the
Wagon train vacationers will gather in county
Imagine a true vacation, no phones, no deadlines, no places to be
people to see, no modern transportation.
"The old time vacation is
where the Amish and English join together for
a 43-mile, three-day round trip
vacation to the Ohio Caverns by horses
and wagons," Ron Schilling, vacation
Schilling, 54, said this will be the first time he has
helped organize a
three-day vacation. In past years he has helped put
trips around Danville. He also helped organize the 30-mile
Bicentennial horse and wagon ride across the county from Plain
Schilling and his wife, Linda, will be
participating in the vacation set
to begin on Wednesday evening at the Union
County Fairgrounds. There are
45 people scheduled to make the trip including
Levi and Anna Kuhns.
The Kuhns family, of Millersburg, will be one of three
from Holmes County taking part in the old time
"We are looking forward to it very much so," Kuhns said.
Kuhns family includes six children ranging in age from 6 to 23 years
They are both looking forward to time away from their children.
vacation was almost five years ago when they traveled to Lancaster.
Schillings own HorseShoe Farm, a horse and carriage service on
Kuhns and his family have a leather craft business and
Everyone traveling on the vacation pays a nominal registration fee
cover various trip costs.
Trip participants will camp out overnight at
the Union County
Fairgrounds on Wednesday. A bluegrass/ acoustic music
is scheduled for Wednesday evening. Schilling has
participants to bring along acoustic instruments including
fiddles and mandolins so that they can join in the fun.
will head out on Thursday at 9 a.m. for North Lewisburg.
Schilling said the
plan is to arrive in North Lewisburg at 11:30 a.m.
for lunch and to rest the
horses. The caravan is set to leave at 2 p.m.
for West Liberty.
will camp in West Liberty overnight and then head out on
Friday morning to
the Ohio Caverns.
Kuhns and his wife along with their friends have discussed
Ohio Caverns trip for some time.
"We all like to camp," Kuhns
said, "Every night we sit back around the
campfire and visit with
On the return route, the group will return to North Lewisburg where
will camp on Friday night. The vacation will end on Saturday as
caravan heads back to the Union County fairgrounds.
Schilling said he
has received a lot of support in organizing the
vacation. Various church and
civic groups are helping to prepare meals
in North Lewisburg and West
"This will give the Amish a true vacation, a break from
Schilling is also working with law
enforcement officials from Union,
Logan and Champaign counties to help
direct the group which will include
around 10 wagons, carts or buggies and a
dozen horseback riders.
Kuhns said the trip would proceed rain or shine so
"When you're dealing with that many
people and animals, things are
always subject to change," Schilling
He added that the public is welcome to visit with the group as
their three-day journey.
"People are more than welcome to come
and see us along the way,"
Kuhns said that the oldtime
vacations give participants a feel for what
are early settlers went
"We are ready to sit back, relax and see what's out there," Kuhns
County audited; findings released
By CINDY BRAKE
A state auditor looked at
the county's financial records recently and
found quite a few
"Stupid mistakes" is what Union County Auditor Mary Snider calls
"As long as people are working, there are going to be errors. We
for perfection but we're not perfect."
The audit, released July 27,
was of the county's financial statements
through Dec. 31, 2005.The extensive
report includes detailed findings,
citations and recommendations.
said the problems boil down to an arithmetic error,
miscalculation of sick
pay and bad record keeping.
The arithmetic error occurred when adding hours
for one Board of
Compensatory hours are logged on a
manual timesheet and retained by each
individual employee. The manual records
maintained by one employee
contained discrepancies caused by inaccurate data
errors. As a result, the employee was overpaid. The state
the Board of Elections adopt a written policy and procedure
leave usage and accrual.
Karla Herron, Board of Elections
director, said the overpayment was less
than $500 and repaid through overtime
and vacation time. She added that
the department as a whole had a surplus of
An overpayment to an employee also occurred in funds
overseen by the
Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities
In this situation, the employee converted accumulated unused sick
At the time he was paid $50.65 an hour, but the payout was given
$51.90 an hour resulting in an overpayment of $150. The
repaid the funds by means of a reduction in his payroll. MR/DD
failed to submit data to the county auditor for employee leave
usage and accrual records.
Newly named MR/DD superintendent Kim
Miller said he welcomes the state
auditor's review of records to find ways to
"Our doors are always open," Miller said. "We will take our
from the auditor."
Numerous other citations involved grant money
that was not disbursed in
a timely fashion. Grants must be expended within a
specific amount of
time and any interest earned should be returned. Numerous
employees failed to follow grant requirements. The report states
the problem was the result of "the inexperience of the
administering the grant." Since becoming aware of the problem,
employees have corrected the problem, Snider said.
who oversaw the Homeland security grant funds, said this
problem began in
2004 when equipment was backordered.
"It was a bizarre thing that happened.
Everything is documented and the
money was spent on Homeland Security
equipment," Riffle said.
Snider said the biggest difference between this
year's audit and those
of past years is that she was not involved and the
state auditor did not
meet with departments prior to publishing the
"They are not bad things," Snider said, calling one citation
where one county office was cited for flipping a deposit between
general fund and title fund on one day. The problem was corrected
soon as it was discovered, Snider said.
The audit is available at the
Auditor of State web site,
to focus on new schools
From J-T staff reports:
Marysville School District
administrators and architects will hold an
information meeting Wednesday at 7
p.m. at the high school auditorium to
outline proposals for a second middle
school and intermediate school to
be built on Route 4 near Southard
A detailed overview of the project plans, including proposed
locations, construction timelines, city annexation issues and
a traffic study will be presented. Questions from residents
community members also will be answered.
More than 200 area residents
living near the 162-acre school site
formerly owned by the Bunsold family
have been invited to attend the
meeting, as have city and township
Superintendent Larry Zimmerman said the new school proposals are
the district's plan to respond to rapid community growth,
growth on the city's south side. Marysville Schools continue to
250 students each year, and growth has been especially strong at
intermediate and middle school grade levels, he said.
By building two
schools with shared facilities on a common site, the
district expects to save
a substantial amount of money on construction
and annual operating costs.
Other key benefits of the proposed school
site that Marysville Schools
administrators have previously highlighted include:
.The property is
central to future residential growth on Marysville's south side
direct access to nearby city water, sewer and other utility lines
site is close to key transportation routes including U.S. 33
.The site is
large enough to house additional schools, including a
.The location provides school administrators with several options
dividing the school district student population between two
and middle schools
.The purchase price of $12,000 per acre
was significantly less expensive
than other available building sites.
information about the proposed schools is available at the
Web site at www.marysville.k12.oh.us.
will open Balloon Festival entertainment
Event to be held Friday,
By NATALIE TROYER
For fans of soulful R&B, Rod Cave promises
a show that will leave
audiences begging for more.
"I think an audience
hears with its eyes," said the 49-year-old electric
guitar player and lead
vocalist for Hot Rod and the Blues DeVilles. "We
want to give audiences a wow
The four-piece, Ohio-formed band will take the stage Friday from 6
p.m. during the All Ohio Balloon Festival at the Union County
The band incorporates elements of R&B, soul and rock in its
three-part harmonies and a rock edge, said Cave, a native of
"We play a lot of old cover songs, but we try to update them with
real modern sound," he said.
They perform songs from the Temptations,
Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and the
Grand Funk Railroad. The band also has between
40 to 50 originals.
Hot Rod and the Blues DeVilles was originally formed in
2000 as a
five-piece band. Cave assembled players from other bands
"I was looking for musicians who could also sing. guys
who wanted to
play music on a new level," he said.
Two of the original
members have since left the group, while
22-year-old keyboardist Mike McGrain
of Urbana joined the band a little
over a year ago. Manny Manuel, 46, of
Louisiana, a base guitarist and
vocalist, and Daryl Jumper, 51, of Columbus,
a drummer and vocalist, are
the other current members.
When asked about
the band's name, Cave said some of his friends simply
thought it would be a
good title. Cave, at first, didn't like it.
"But I basically got outvoted,"
The band has two CDs, the first of which is mainly R&B cover
second is all original music. They average about three shows a
playing in venues around the midwest. Cave said they used to
Lee Dogs Saloon and the Stockyard Steakhouse and Saloon in
But they've also opened for and played with blues legends such as
Guy and Kenny Neal.
The group's road to success has been gradual and
it has required
patience, Cave said.
"There have been a lot of shows
where we've got in by the skin of our
teeth and been the opening band on the
opening night," he said. ". Then
the next year we'd be headlining that same
For Hot Rod and the Blues DeVilles, the thrill is in the journey,
"We're all mature musicians who don't necessarily want to make
a dig in
the music industry," he said. "We just want to travel, make our
music and do shows, no matter how big the club is or how many people
"To do something that you love to do and make a decent living
is incredible," he continued. "You just have to have a passion for
Study supports closing rail crossing
By RYAN HORNS
The first draft of the
traffic study on the East Fifth Street railroad
crossing states that it
really doesn't matter if the city closes it or not.
Engineers with DLZ
Ohio Inc. concluded that "open or closed, (East Fifth
Street) has little
impact on the operation of the Fifth/Columbus
/Delaware Intersection at the
However, their recommendations for the short-term are to keep
Street closed for the best operation and to improve traffic
coordination on Delaware Avenue.
For the long-term, DLZ recommends
reworking the entire east side traffic
system - more lanes on Delaware Avenue
or begin planning for a second
corridor to provide an additional grade
separated crossing of U.S. 33
"to meet the demands of through traffic now
using Delaware Avenue."
Engineers recommend meeting with city staff to
discuss the conclusions
and recommendations of the report.
Mayor Tom Kruse
said DLZ is expected to make a presentation on the
report at Tuesday's Public
Services meeting to be held at 7 p.m. in the
Public Service Center, 455 N.
The report says that the next step is to update the draft,
comments received from the meeting. Another presentation would
made before Marysville City Council, ending with a plan to prepare
The main conclusions DLZ found is that in the long-term
beyond) re-opening East Fifth Street would have negative impact on
operation of the Five Points Intersection.
"The Fifth Street approach
requires a reduction in the green time for
the other traffic signal phases
and introduces additional conflict
points under increased traffic volumes,"
the reports states. "It is best
to leave Fifth Street closed for the
long-term. In addition,
consideration should be given to re-aligning Fifth
Street to remove it
entirely from the intersection. This would increase both
and the safety of the intersection by allowing more green time
other movements and reducing the number of conflict points in
Engineers recommend additional lanes on
Delaware Avenue and for the
city to begin looking into formulating a plan
for this to occur in the
future. An alternate to this would be to make a
second corridor crossing
U.S. 33. The corridor may be developed by connecting
Sixth Street to a
realigned Fifth Street at Columbus Avenue and extending
with a bridge across U.S. 33 to connect to Watkins Road.
intersection of Fifth Street and Coleman's Crossing would have to
reconstructed to provided better flow through it.
The report explains
that traffic counts were taken the first week of
June at the intersection of
Fifth Street, Delaware Avenue, Columbus
Avenue, Columbus Avenue and Cherry
Street - otherwise known as Five
Points. An August 2004 Coleman's Crossing
Traffic Study and a March City
Gate traffic studies were also used to develop
explained that current traffic volumes were projected
into the year 2026
using a growth rate of one percent per year. The same rate
has been used
in previous studies prepared for the Mid Ohio Regional
Commission for the central Ohio area.
"It was assumed that most
of the traffic currently turning left from the
Avenue/Industrial Parkway to Coleman's Crossing
would use Fifth Street," the
A software system called Synchro determined the optimum signal
and coordination and the Level of Service at the intersections.
was performed with Fifth Street remaining closed and with Fifth
However, as critics pointed out in past city council
had already become used to not using the East Fifth Street
traffic count would reflect that. Also, with meetings scheduled,
realignment costs and additional reports planned, how long will it
the city to reach a final conclusion on the crossing issue? Does
study take into account the ultimate downfall of business along
the closed road?
Kruse said he would like to see the focus be on the
problems with the
entire traffic area around Coleman's Crossing and Delaware
instead of just the East Fifth Street dilemma.
"We're looking at
it globally instead of as a single issue," he said.
Kruse said the railroad
crossing issue is subjective. The city initially
saw the crossing as a safety
problem. Now he said he'd hate to put too
much focus onto East Fifth Street,
especially if it ends up being a
waste of money.
"I'd hate to put money
into that without perspective," Kruse said.
City plans public
meeting on study
By RYAN HORNS
Discussions are expected to kick into gear
soon over the closed East
Fifth Street railroad crossing.
Marysville City Council meeting Thursday night, members asked
Mayor Tom Kruse
about the recently completed East Fifth Street Railroad
Crossing study and if
there is going to be a discussion about it. A full
article on the results of
the report will be included in the Saturday
edition of the
While the details of the study were not discussed at the
said there is going to be a presentation of the results at the
Services meeting on Tuesday at 7 p.m., to be held in the Public
Center at 455 N. Maple St.
"Any comments we receive will be taken
into consideration," Kruse said.
He said that information gleaned from that
meeting will go into the
final report ? explaining that the recent completion
of the traffic
study is only a draft report. This means the results will
and discussion. At that point, the information from those
will be sent back to the engineering firm which will prepare the
report to come back before council.
Councilman Dan Fogt said he
would like to see the city "proceed on
something" to get the railroad
crossing opened up.
In other discussions, several ordinances requesting money
capital projects had first readings.
One ordinance requests $4,500
to pay for new doors and a security system
at the Public Service
Kruse said this issue has been going through committees and has
come to council. He said the current door is in very poor
"We've got to do something," Kruse said.
Fogt said that he'd
like to see the issue moved along as quickly as
possible. Council members
then waived first and second readings, passing
the ordinance on
For other appropriations, $7,945 was requested to install
Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) for the Marysville Police
dispatch center. Discussion was also held on one for $37,000, to
taken from the Parkland Development Funds in order to sandblast
paint the Marysville Municipal Pool.
Fogt questioned why the money
wasn't taken out of the General Fund.
"I'm not against this project," Fogt
said. "I just want to do it right."
Councilman Mark Reams suggested city
law director Tim Aslaner take a
look a the legalities of paying for the
project out of Parkland funds.
Kruse said he didn't mind where the money came
from, just that the
painting company suggested doing the work in the fall
when the pool is closed.
The final appropriation requests a transfer of
funds to fix the city street sweeper.
Kruse said the machine is too old
and next year he would like to budget
around $200,000 to contract with
Columbus Contract Sweeping, who he has
used in his private business
In other topics:
. Chamber Economic Development Director Eric
Phillips reported that
Marysville is a finalist for Ohio Magazine's "Ohio's
Best Hometown" contest.
. The last easement needed to make way for the
Trunk Interceptor Sewer
Project had first reading.
Aslaner explained that
the easement had numerous owners, and it should
be the last properly the city
will potentially need to litigate. He
requested that the third reading be
. Kruse asked that residents keep the catch basins drains near
homes free of leaves and debris to help with city drainage.
workers are too busy with repaving and cannot attend to the basins
before. He also thanked members of the public for their patience as
roads are repaired.
. Elk Lodge president Nevin Taylor addressed
council. He said that on
June 14 the Elks presented the city with flags to
fly outside of city
hall. However, one of the flags the city chose not to fly
remembering MIA and POW veterans. He asked that council
flying the flag on military holidays. He felt that not honoring
was a mistake.
"I know a lot of ideas come through council," he
said, "but I think we
dropped the ball here."
Council Vice President Ed
Pleasant accepted the flag.
. Local radio broadcaster Louis Gruenbaum told
council that her position
with WUCO ended on July 21 and that the station has
announced it will no
longer be running local news.
. The Outstanding
Employee of the Quarter Award was presented to
Wastewater Operations Chief
Richard Shane for his work at the Wastewater
Treatment Plant. Kruse said that
during the interim process from moving
to a new wastewater plant, Shane has
Not guilty verdict reached
Jury does not convict Adams for stabbing at wedding reception
From J-T staff reports:
The man who stabbed a father and
a son during a fight at a wedding
reception in April walked away from Union
County Common Pleas Court a
free man on Wednesday.
Eric D. Adams, 36, of
Plain City was found not guilty on two
second-degree felonious assault
charges and not guilty on two aggravated
assault charges. He faced a
potential of 16 years in prison for stabbing
Ricky Lee Diamond Jr., 18, and
Ricky J. diamond Sr., 46, both of 21244
Liberty West Road, multiple times
during a fight outside the Liberty
After the jury's
decision was read, members of Adams' family hugged each
other. Across the
aisle to their right, the friends and family of the
two Diamonds simply shook
their heads in disbelief.
"Obviously I disagree with the verdict," Union
County Prosecutor David
He said while he respects the
jury's decision, he doesn't believe
stabbing two people 13 times is an
appropriate response to a fist fight.
When asked what kind of message
Adams' freedom may send to other people
involved in similar fights, Phillips
said every case is going to be
different when it comes to
Defense attorney Sam Shamansky said Phillips did an excellent
presenting the facts but there was only so much anyone could do with
"incredibly violent hoodlums" as victims.
He said the credibility of
the Diamonds was in question because "you
couldn't trust them as far as you
could throw them. Juries can see right
through cases for what they
Looking at the history of the two Diamonds, Shamansky said, there was
reason Adams would have anything to do with them. Adams tried to
the party and they wouldn't let him, the attorney said.
"I want to
thank you for your devotion," Union County Common Pleas Court
Parrott told the jury afterwards.
Members of the panel had spent more than 11
hours in a two-day period in deliberation.
After the not guilty verdict
was read, Parrott asked the bailiffs to
allow Shamansky to escort Adams,
along with friends and family, out of the courthouse.
He also allowed the
jury to leave at that point. The Diamond family and
friends were requested to
stay another five minutes before they were
allowed to leave.
officer, Kahn, on duty
Marysville Police Dept.'s first dog, Indi,
By RYAN HORNS
The Marysville Police Department retired one of its
officers, only to replace him with a new face: A dog named
Wednesday afternoon officers, city administrators and friends met at
department at City Hall in a retirement send off for the first
officer in the department's history, 10-year-old Indi.
A little grayer
around the face these days, Indi walked around the
people talking, or stood
nearby any children eating cake hoping for a
hand out. Every once in a while
someone would "accidentally" drop some
food on the floor - which Indi would
soon clean up.
For Marysville canine trainer, Dave Nist, the retirement party
bittersweet. It signified the end of an era and the beginning of a
one as Khan is already on duty.
"He's really mellowed out," Nist said
about Indi. "It's like night and day."
Later Wednesday, Nist and Assistant
Marysville Police Chief Glenn Nicol
introduced Khan - a 11/2 -year-old male
Belgian Malinois imported from
Europe last April.
Nits said the training
to get Khan on the street to fight crime began
immediately and ended in
"What's interesting about Khan is that his mother was a police dog
both of his grandparents were police dogs," he said, explaining that
police work was in the dog's blood.
This time around, Nist said he was
given the education to become a
certified dog trainer for the
"It was a benefit to the department," Nicol said. "It probably
about six thousand dollars."
Nist said that when Indi was
imported from Europe, the dog was already
trained and Nist only needed a
5-week training course to learn to work
with the dog. But he was involved
with training Khan from the very first day.
"I learned it takes a lot of
time and a lot of patience and a lot of
repetition," Nist said. "It's a lot
of work but it's a lot of fun."
In order to afford another police dog to
replace Indi, the police
department sought out donations from the community.
The plea was
received well. The department was able to meet its goal to
after a $5,000 donation from Union Rural Electric and another
donation from the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter.
he plans to continue taking Khan on demonstrations to local
Scouts troupes and 4-H events. The next demonstration will
be at the
Marysville Fire Department Open House on Sept. 9.
Trained in tracking,
obedience, narcotics, building searches and more,
Nist said he was glad to
find Khan has a great temperament with people.
"He's very hyper, but
friendly," he said.
When asked if Nist always saw himself working with dogs
back when he
first joined the department in 1996, he responded that he
his answer reminded him of a story from years ago.
When he was
in college at Tiffin University the school had a K-9 program
and one day the
department took the dog to the football field and bet
Nist that he couldn't
race the trained animal to the endzone before
being bitten. Nist started from
the 50 yard line and the dog started on
the 30 yard line and then they both
"It's a cool experience to have the dog chase after you like
that," he said.
Nist made it to the endzone, but the dog bit him on the
"Ever since then," he said. "I thought it
was pretty neat."
Stabbing trial in hands of jury
By RYAN HORNS
"You don't bring knives to a
fist fight," Union County Prosecutor David Phillips said.
In his closing
arguments at the Union County Common Pleas Court Tuesday,
explained to jurors that the whole issue of a double
stabbing at a wedding on
April 22 has to do with excessive force.
Tuesday afternoon's court session
concluded with closing arguments from
both sides of the case against Eric D.
Adams, 36, of Plain City.
Phillips said Adams faces up to 16 years in jail
for two counts of
felonious assault and two counts of aggravated assault
Ricky Lee Diamond Jr., 18, and Diamond's father, Ricky J.
Sr., 46, both
of 21244 Liberty West Road. Adams pleaded not guilty by reason
At around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, jurors began their
seven hours, no verdict had been reached. Union County
Court Judge Richard Parrott asked them to go home and resume the
this morning. They remained in deliberation the entire
While Phillips focused on the brutality of the stabbing in his
arguments, Columbus-based defense attorney Sam Shamansky said anyone
was being "pummeled by two thugs" is within his rights to use any
necessary to repel an attack to save his life.
Shamansky said the
Diamonds were so intent on inflicting pain on Adams
they didn't even realize
they were being stabbed. He said Adams feared
the two men would pull him from
the car and beat him worse or hurt
someone else in his family.
blows do you take?" Shamansky asked jurors. "Do you wait until
your teeth are
knocked out ... do you wait until you lose an eye?"
Phillips then reminded
jurors that Adams stabbed the father and son a
total of 13 times in a fight
that lasted only 25 seconds.
One wound reportedly nicked the liver of the
younger Diamond. Both
father and son underwent surgery and remained
hospitalized for several
days. Adams, it was reported, had barely a wound to
show for the alleged
attack, aside from a small scratch between his
Standing next to the victims' bloody clothes which were placed
mannequins, Phillips said the force Adams used was not in proportion
the alleged attack and that is why jurors should find him
Phillips rhetorically asked that if Adams feared for his life, then
didn't he tell investigators? Not once did he tell anyone,
said, including his wife. He also pointed out that if Adams had
stabbed the Diamonds, the fight would have ended the same way,
Adams driving away from the scene.
When word of the April 22 stabbing
at the Liberty Township wedding
became public knowledge, witnesses on the
scene explained that Adams had
only become enraged because he was in a hurry
to leave and wanted
someone to cut the wedding cake. However, over the past
two days in
court, witnesses delved further into the rocky history of
relationship between Adams and the Diamonds.
In closing arguments,
Shamansky described the father and son as "thugs"
who were looking to start
something with Adams. Even at an earlier
date, the elder Diamond had warned
Adams: "You and I are going to have our day."
Phillips, though, said
Adams' testimony conflicts with other witnesses.
When questioned about the
stabbing, Adams reportedly had trouble
couldn't recall how the knife opened or whether either of
the Diamonds first
started punching him.
Other questions included whether the knife was already
out of the glove
compartment, or was it already on the floor of the
Phillips said all of these conflicting reports indicate that
testimony is not credible.
J.A. levy defeated
Jonathan Alder School District will return to the voters for a
time in November after residents voted down an emergency
property tax for operating costs on Tuesday.
In Union County the
issue failed 51.17 percent to 48.83 percent. There
were 417 against and 398
votes for the property tax.
In Madison County the issue went down 54.1
percent to 45.85 percent.
There were 919 votes against the property tax and
778 for the tax.
If it had passed, the temporary levy would have taken effect
next five years and then expire.
This property tax levy came after
two income tax levies were defeated
this past February and last
The district will begin implementing level one cuts to include
the operating budget by not purchasing new school buses, textbooks
The school board is scheduled to meet for a
work session on Saturday,
Aug. 19 at 8:30 a.m. to discuss the district's
During the work session they will finalize level one cuts
examining the district budget and five-year forecast.
property tax levy fails a second time in November, the district
eliminate high school busing, various extra-curriculars and
"Anything a school district has that can be reduced we will
reducing," superintendent Doug Carpenter said.
Carpenter said the
need for an increase is inevitable when you consider
the added cost of a
fifth district building, the state flat lining
districts funding in the
current year budget, and that the district is
at the state minimum allowed
(20 mills) to operate the schools.
"We can't keep doing the same things we
used to do without an increase
to operate the school district," he
The next regular school board meeting will be Monday, Aug. 14 at
Wedding stabbing trial opens
By RYAN HORNS
Wearing rubber gloves and
pointing to bloody clothes on a nearby
mannequin inside the Union County
Common Pleas Court, prosecutors
explained why they believe a Plain City man
allegedly stabbed a father
and son at an April wedding this year.
crime that made international news, the trial for Eric D. Adams,
36, of 6535
Perry Pike Road in Plain City, started on Monday morning.
Reports from the
courthouse this morning indicate that the trial may
wrap up today, although
it was expected to last three days. The case is
being heard in front of Union
County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard Parrott.
According to prosecutors,
Adams was charged with two counts of felonious
assault. He is accused of
stabbing Ricky Lee Diamond Jr., 18, and Ricky
J. Diamond Sr., 46, both of
21244 Liberty West Road, at a wedding
reception held at the Liberty Township
Community Center at 21463 Main
St. in Raymond, on April 22.
enforcement officers reported that a 9-1-1 call was made at about
reporting that two men had been stabbed. Deputies from the
Sheriff's Office and medical crews from Liberty and Allen
departments responded to the scene. The Diamonds were then
flown to the Ohio
State University Medical Center by MedFlight and Care
Flight. After allegedly
stabbing the Diamonds, Adams reportedly drove
away from the community hall
and was picked up and arrested by deputies
On Monday a
stream of Union County Sheriff's deputies and relatives of
the Diamonds were
called to testify in court - all agreeing that Adams
came to the wedding
that day in a bad mood, looking to cause trouble.
attorney Sam Shamansky said his client stabbed
the two out of self-defense.
Adams told deputies that the only way he
could get the two to stop punching
him was to use the knife that fell
from inside the glove compartment of his
Throughout Monday the crime was pieced together from different points
The younger Diamond said he heard shouting outside the township
saw Adams yelling at his 7-year-old female cousin.
"He made a
gesture with his fist like he was going to hit her," he said.
"I got right in
He said Adams then grabbed him by the middle of his shirt and a
started, as the two men began punching each other.
At that point,
Diamond said his father came to help break up the fight.
Unbeknownst to them,
Adams had grabbed a 3-inch knife
from inside the car.
Both the father and
son described being stabbed, as if they
were just being punched.
thought (Adams) was hitting me," Diamond Jr. said. "It felt like
The father said he only realized there was a knife when he saw
through his son's hand and the blood. The outfit he wore as father
the bride, now covered in blood and part of court evidence, was
up on a mannequin in the courtroom. The father was stabbed seven
the son was stabbed six times.
Diamond and Phillips pointed out the
stab holes and blood covering the
mannequin clothing the victims were wearing
They later discovered that one of the six stab wounds the
Diamond suffered had nicked a piece of his liver.
however, pointed out that his researched showed the young
had a history of violence going back to being
suspended from school after
assaulting a teacher.
Lisa Diamond, the daughter of Rick Diamond Sr., said
some of the crime.
"I just seen blood going everywhere," she
testified. "(Her father's)
shirt was just filling faster than anything with
Yvette Wenger was a server for the reception that night. She said it
obvious Adams spent the night "agitated and irritated." A plate of
sat in front of him, and he never ate. He also chose not to
Wenger said Adams wanted to get the wedding cake cut, but soon
to leave and then became involved in a fight with the younger
Later during the trial deputy Aaron McKinnon described
how Adams drove
away from the crime scene in a yellow Mustang with a
relative. Then deputies Mike Justice and Kevin Weller
interviewing Adams about the stabbing.
Weller said Adams spoke
of trying to leave the party, but the Diamonds
wouldn't let him go. He said a
knife had fallen out of his glove
compartment when he had tried to reach for
his cigarettes. As he was
being punched, he grabbed the knife - why he did
it, he did not know,
the deputy said.
"He said 'I was just going nuts,'"
He said Adams just wanted the Diamonds to stop.
pointed out that at no time did Adams ever tell deputies that
he feared for
his life or even bodily harm.
Record number turn out for fair
J-T staff reports:
The 2006 Union County Fair posted record-setting
Fair spokesman Kay Griffith said attendance was "way up" almost
with the final night "blown out of the water ... a fantastic night."
fact, the fairgrounds ran out of parking spaces and cars were parked
a nearby business.
At Wednesday's senior breakfast, the 160 chairs were
quickly filled and
more were added to accommodate visitors.
extremely pleased with attendance," Griffith said Monday.
She credits last
week's perfect weather Monday through Wednesday, as
well as high gas prices
for encouraging people to look for fun close to
home. The annual seven-day
event highlights agricultural and business
activities in the county, as well
as the 4-H and FFA programs. A roundup
of last week's results is included in
Compared to last year's attendance,
Griffith said, Monday's attendance
was 50 short of double, Tuesday was triple
and Friday was 10 percent
over the previous record-setting
"Community support is overwhelming for our fair," Griffith said,
only in the number of people who attend but also the amount of
from business and social agencies. All events, she said, are
"This fair could not exist without sponsors," Griffith
Bills are still out and the final tally on profit should be available
Standing still as the earth moves below you
note: Reporter Natalie Troyer recently took flight with hot air
Bob Scobee to get a first-hand look at the appeal of
By NATALIE TROYER
With a sweat-soaked brow and
reporter's notebook in hand, I stood in
that wicker basket as we delicately
soared through the pastel blue sky.
Peering down at treetops and miniature
people, I reluctantly asked my
pilot, "Are you sure no one's ever fallen out
of these things?" To which
he responded with a "no" and a grin.
was one of my emotions that evening of July 19. That was the
entrusted my life to a 1,500 pound hot air balloon and a pilot
I'd never even
My journey began at 6:30 p.m. when I arrived at the Union County
to meet hot air balloon pilot Bob Scobee, 47, of Marysville, and
young couple who'd be taking flight with me, Jenelle Triplett and
We shook hands, exchanged brief introductions, and then
stood back as
Scobee prepared to blow up the balloon.
He attached a burner
system to the basket, then attached the actual
balloon (which Scobee referred
to as the "envelope") and laid it out on
the ground. He and his two member
ground crew then began inflating it
with cold air, using this giant fan at
the base of the envelope.
When there was enough air in the balloon, Scobee
blasted the burner
flame into the envelope mouth. Modern hot air balloons
heat the air by
burning propane, the same substance commonly used in outdoor
grills. He said that hot air balloons are based on a very
scientific principle - warmer air rises.
And the weather actually
plays a large role in how easy it is to get the
balloon off the ground,
Scobee said. If the air outside is cooler, a
pilot doesn't have to produce as
much heat inside the balloon, making it
easier on he or she to get the
balloon to rise.
The temperature that day was in the mid 90s which Scobee
said was not
ideal, but "doable."
So with the balloon fully inflated and
ground crew members holding the
basket down, Scobee hopped in.
Time to go," he said, motioning toward me and my new friends
to get in before
the balloon lifted off without us.
Grabbing the side of the basket, I
gracefully hoisted myself inside.
Jenelle and Kevin followed my lead. Scobee
then gave us a short pep talk
- basically, that we were to keep ourselves in
the basket, don't lean
over the edge and keep our feet on the ground at all
"Once we get up there, it also won't be nearly this
loud or this hot,"
Scobee shouted as he fired a flame from the burner into
He must have noticed the increasing perspiration across my
Heat mixed with nerves will do that to you.
I then felt a light
jolt as the ground crew released the balloon. Scobee
began firing a steady
flame from the burner, and we lifted off into the sky.
He explained that
the envelope is constructed out of nylon, which works
well because it is
lightweight, sturdy and has a high melting
temperature. The skirt, the nylon
at the base of the envelope, is coated
with special fire-resistant material
to keep the flame from igniting the
So I at least knew the
balloon wouldn't catch on fire. Check plus for that.
We escalated higher
and higher - 100 feet, 500 feet, then 1,000 feet.
And I peered over the edge
at a town I've driven through a thousand
times, but that now seemed to have
such a different appeal.
The tranquility. The serenity. The nausea.
pulled myself back from the railing and grabbed my bottle of water.
think I just realized that I have a fear of heights," I casually told
I can handle roller coasters. At least then I'm strapped in a
losing circulation in my legs. But there's a sense of protection
comes with the numbness.
Standing in that wicker basket, knowing that
it was the only thing
protecting me from a plunge to the death, I began
doubting that basket's stability.
So did Kevin.
"I gotta think here,
Bob," he said. "With the evolution of ballooning,
there should be a better
basket than this... I mean, I want to be
strapped in or something."
Scobee explained that wicker works very well because it is sturdy,
and relatively lightweight. The flexibility helps with balloon
because, in a basket made of more rigid material, passengers
would feel the
brunt of the impact force. Wicker material flexes a
little, absorbing some of
the energy, he said.
Knowing that the landing would at least be pleasant, I
took a deep
breath and focused my eyes on the horizon.
"We sure aren't
going very fast or very far," I said, noticing that we
were still practically
hovering over the airport.
The wind was coming out of the southeast at 5 to 7
knots, which isn't
enough to take us on a really long expedition, Scobee
said. We'd be
lucky to go a couple miles.
"We're going northeast," he
said. "Just not quickly."
He decided to use a tactic in order to "find some
To maneuver horizontally, a pilot needs to change his or her
position, Scobee said, because wind blows in different directions
different altitudes. To move in a particular direction, a pilot
and descends to the appropriate level and rides with the
Scobee pulled on a cord which opened the parachute valve at the top
the envelope, allowing some hot air to escape from the
decreasing the inner air temperature. This caused the balloon to
its ascent. If he kept the valve open long enough, the balloon
He then tried increasing the vertical speed by blasting a
to heat the air more rapidly. Since wind speed generally
you get higher in the atmosphere, he attempted to control the
speed by changing altitude.
No luck, though.
So we floated
at 1,000 feet. Suspended over a fast-paced world beneath
us, it felt like I
was living life in the slow lane.
And Scobee agreed.
"Up here, it feels
more like you're standing still and the earth is
moving below you," he
For Scobee, who's been flying hot air balloons for more than 18
the thrill is still there for him. He's flown more than 3,000
and said he can't wait to fly more.
"I always tell people 'I'll
never get rich, but I have an office
with a view,'" he said.
two hot air balloons and flies with Fly Ohio
Ballooning, of Marysville.
get a pilot's license, a person has to go through the same process as
airplane pilot, he said. He or she must have so many hours logged and
through a testing procedure.
So I trusted that he'd land us in one
About an hour into the flight, Scobee began looking for an open spot
the ground below. He discussed possible landing sites with the
crew (via an onboard radio) until he came up with a suitable location
a sidewalk on Greenwood Boulevard.
I glanced down at what appeared to be
no more than ten feet of open
space and internally questioned why we couldn't
have chosen a field or
someplace with more surface area.
He continued to
release some of the hot air from the envelope, causing
the balloon to begin
its descent. When we got within about ten feet of
the ground, Scobee looked
at me, then the young couple, and said, "This
is gonna be a rough
Bumping along the ground, we came to a halt and the ground
crew held the
basket down for us to get out. By that point, nearly half of
neighborhood was crowded around, as if some strange alien spaceship
invaded their living area.
I hopped out of the basket, proud that I'd
survived our one-mile commute.
Scobee then opened the parachute valve all
the way so the air could
escape out the top of the balloon. The ground crew
grabbed a cord
attached to the top of the balloon and pulled the envelope
onto the grass.
Once the balloon envelope was down on the ground, the crew
the air out. When the balloon was flat, they packed it into a
sack, just as if they were packing up a giant sleeping bag.
and his crew packed up the van, I asked Scobee if landing in the
middle of a
neighborhood on a sidewalk is normal, or if we had to
perform some emergency
landing and he just didn't want to tell me.
The normal procedure for landing
a balloon, he said, is to look for an
open area that is free of power lines,
livestock, crops or any other
obstacle to a safe landing. The sidewalk was
not abnormal. If at all
possible, the pilot will radio ahead to the crew to
get permission from
a landowner in advance. If this can't be done the crew
will attempt to
find the landowner after landing to let them know what is
Scobee said he's had numerous landowners upset with him landing in
yard. He's even had people say, "I'm going to call the sheriff on
To that he usually replies, "'Please do. The sheriff will just tell
to get out of here and that's exactly what I'm trying to do anyway,'"
To maintain positive landowner relations, Fly Ohio Ballooning,
operates mainly out of the Union County Airport, gets the names
phone numbers of the landowners when they land and puts them in
drawing for a free balloon ride for two, which is given away
All of the balloons taking part in the All Ohio Balloon
Fest will be
included in this program, Scobee said. So, "if a balloon lands
property, we appreciate your understanding and if you choose to be
the drawing, you will be eligible for the free balloon ride for two,"
As I walked away that evening of July 19, satisfaction had
For that one hour, it felt as if someone had
tapped the brakes on life.
For once, I could actually move with the speed of
the atmosphere and not
This year's All Ohio Balloon Fest will
take place Friday, Aug. 18 and
Saturday, Aug. 19 at the Union County Airport.
Events begin at 6 p.m.
Friday with the hot air balloon launch. Entertainment
will be provided
by Hot Rod and the Blues DeVilles from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A
will take place at 8:30 p.m., followed by entertainment from
Overboard from 8:30 p.m. to midnight. A beer garden and concessions
be open from 6 p.m. to midnight.
Saturday, the hot air balloons will
launch at 7 a.m., followed by a YMCA
5K walk/run at 8 a.m. Craft vendors will
open at 9 a.m., and Kidz City
will open at 11 a.m. Kite flying will take
place at 1 p.m., and there
will be an opportunity to meet the pilots at 4
p.m. The hot air balloons
will then launch again at 6 p.m.
the weekend is $5. Children 12 and under are free. There
will be free
admission from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Friday night only.
Munk retires from
Ohio State Patrol
By CINDY BRAKE
Ohio State Patrol Captain Rick Munk of
Marysville retired recently as
executive officer of the Office of
Investigative Services. His future
plans, for now, are to spend time with his
"Monday is just like another Saturday," Munk said recently as he and
10 year-old daughter, McKenzie, were busy with her swine project at
Union County Fair. "No more missed birthday parties ... no more
called out in the middle of the night" and no more nights of
one hour at a time.
Because of age and service limitations, Munk
officially retired July 21
as the number two guy of the Ohio State Patrol.
Retirement is required
after 25 years of service and 48 years of age. Both of
which he has passed.
His final days on the job were spent overseeing the
scandal of coin dealer Tom Noe and the execution-style
urologist Gulam Moonda along the Ohio Turnpike. Munk leaves his
with charges filed in both cases.
Responsible for a staff of more
than 150 investigators, troopers and
professional staff, Munk said he was
on-call 24 hours a day, seven days
a week for much of his career. His most
recent duties were to oversee
statewide criminal investigation functions
including vice (drugs and
prostitution on state property), criminal activity
in state prisons and
statehouse white collar crime, as well as security at
all state properties.
His success, he says, is due to the local community
- especially the
Union County sheriff, Marysville police chiefs and the
private sector -
who have treated him like family.
Local officials say
Munk is a special man.
Marysville Police Chief Floyd Golden, who also retired
from the OSP,
said Munk was one of the best investigators he ever worked with
criminal and traffic investigations.
"He was a good fit in that
position," Golden said, explaining how
quickly Munk was able to create good
Five years later, when Golden retired as the second
commander, Munk was promoted to Marysville post commander
served from 1997 to 2001.
"Everytime I look over my shoulder,
there's Rick," Golden said.
Union County Sheriff Rocky Nelson also worked
with Munk through the
years when both patrolling Union County roads.
genuine ... to him there weren't different color of shirts," Nelson
Nelson said Munk is someone he both admires and respects.
after being named sheriff, Nelson said Munk gave him a wanted
Stanley Penn. Penn killed Union County Sheriff Harry Wolfe in
1982. Munk said
he responded to the scene as a trooper that day. "It was
a very tragic day,"
Nelson said he framed the poster and it now hangs in his office at
Union County Courthouse complex.
A lot has changed in law enforcement
since Munk began working as a
prison guard 28 years ago at the Ohio
Penitentiary in Columbus.
Too young, to apply to the state patrol, he said
that he thought working
at "a real prison" would test him. What he
discovered, as a 19-year-old
fresh out of high school, was that he was up for
the challenge. Working
correction was not easy, he said, but it wasn't what
he had expected,
explaining that there were a lot of mind games being
Munk said good police work involves common sense and people
A year after working at the Ohio Penn, he applied and was accepted as
cadet with the OSP. After a 4 1/2-month training program, Munk spent
first two years as a trooper in Springfield. It was a tough
schedule of afternoon and midnight shifts. He first came to Union
in 1981 as a resident trooper. Before he moved to Marysville, Munk
he had been through the county only once on his way to
Munk said he has no regrets about the career he choose. He is
looking forward to a time to do something different. He said he has
immediate plans, except to be with his family which includes wife,
and children, McKenzie, Ricky, Megan, O.J., Drew, Kristyn and
Health Dept. given $48,000 grant
From J-T staff reports:
The Union County
Health Department is the recipient of a $48,500 grant
from the Ohio Tobacco
Use Prevention and Control Foundation (TUPCF).
The six-month extension will
continue to fund prevention programs and
cessation assistance throughout
Union County. The health department will
receive the funds through
Local programming supported by the Union County Health
.Community cessation classes available to anyone
interested in quitting smoking;
.Workplace cessation classes;
group for residents who have quit or tried to quit smoking;
and publications such as the Great American Smoke Out,
The Smoke-free Honor
Roll (recognizing business and organizations that
are smoke-free), and the
Smoke-free Dining Guide (a list of all Union
County restaurants that are
.Education resources on the health hazards of secondhand
"As evidence by the work being done in Union County, Ohio's
communities have played a key role in the campaign to curb tobacco
statewide. However, there is still more work to be done," said
Larry Mumper. "Therefore, as we work to keep kids from smoking,
adult tobacco use and support Ohio smokers looking to break this
habit, it is essential that the state continue to fund local
"If it were not for the support of lawmakers
like Sen. Mumper, we would
not be able to continue the programs that impact
so many lives in a
positive way," said Sarah Litra, health educator for the
Health Department. "These funds show the Ohio Legislature's
to reducing the negative impact of tobacco on the health and
our state. Programs like those in our county have played a
role in Ohio's changing culture and the reduction of tobacco
Part of Ohio's changing culture and attitude toward tobacco
reflected in a recent survey done by the Union County Health
Of 301 Union County respondents, only 19 percent reported being
current smoker. Of the 19 percent who reported being a current
40 percent indicated they had tried to quit during the past year and
percent indicated they are seriously considering quitting within
next six months. The survey also revealed that 62 percent of the
County residents polled would support legislation to make
TUPCF's grants support tobacco use
prevention and cessation services in
local communities statewide. The 23
community grants and 20 high-risk
population grants that were extended an
additional six months were all
recipients of TUPCF grants in 2003. The total
amount of extensions
granted was $3.6 million.
The Ohio Tobacco Use
Prevention and Control Foundation was created by
the Ohio General Assembly in
2000 and is funded with monies secured from
the national Master Settlement
Agreement (MSA) between tobacco companies
and 46 states. TUPCF is charged
with reducing tobacco use among Ohioans,
with an emphasis on youth, minority
and regional populations, pregnant
women and others who may be
disproportionately affected by the use of tobacco.
Following the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Best
Practices, TUPCF programs range
from the distribution of community
grants and special focus initiatives to
Ohio's tobacco use
counter-marketing campaign, stand, and the free Ohio
Tobacco Quit Line
(800) QUIT-NOW. For more information on TUPCF and its
programs, go to standohio.org.
For more information on local and state
tobacco cessation services and
programming, contact Litra at
J.A. voters to decide on levy Tuesday
Jonathan Alder school district will be back on the ballot Tuesday
an emergency 5.9 mills property tax levy for operating costs.
passed, the temporary levy would take effect for the next five years
The property tax levy comes after two income tax levies were defeated
February and November.
Levy proponents have posted signs and are
wearing buttons with the
number "601" in bold.
Carpenter said the significance of the number "601"
is that out of 612 total
school districts in Ohio there are only 11
other districts who spend less per
pupil than Jonathan Alder.
"We want the taxpayers to understand we wouldn't
be 601st in the state
in spending if we hadn't taken good care of their tax
Carpenter said. "We spend a little and do a lot."
that if the levy passes Tuesday, Jonathan Alder would
still remain the lowest
taxed school district in the central Ohio area.
The decision to go with a
property tax came after district voters
defeated the income tax levies.
the April school board meeting, members agreed that an income tax is
across the board. However, the general consensus was that the
Carpenter said that historically the district has fared better at
polls with a property tax.
If passed the levy will generate $1 million
dollars per year for the
district. The cost annually per $100,000 home will
Presently, in regard to property tax, Jonathan Alder residents pay
state-required minimum of 20 mills for schools.
The 8.5 mill property
tax levy was not renewed in 2005 and no longer
exists. The 8.9 mill bond levy
that was passed in 2002 is now collected
at an effective millage rate of 7
The bond levy was approved four years ago to construct new buildings
renovate older buildings. The current property tax levy is needed
keep up with operating expenses of the five district buildings,
school officials said.
Carpenter said the district is projected to get no
for the next two years, from the state budget, except for
newly enrolled students.
The district challenges voters who don't - or no
longer - have children
in school to think of property values and pensions or
Property values increase in areas where the school
district can offer the most.
Pension systems and retirement benefits are
directly tied to the
salaries of young people. In order to ensure a larger
group of workers
with the skill set needed to acquire high paying jobs, you
provide a quality education, according to Carpenter.
educational system in our country is the single biggest reason we
are able to
live like we do today, " Carpenter said. "The system was set
up to take care
Jonathan Alder prides itself on an excellent academic
"Test scores are always very good, exceeding state averages, and
to be able to keep our fine academic programs," Carpenter said.
the levy is defeated, the district will begin implementing level one
include freezing the operating budget by not purchasing new
textbooks or miscellaneous supplies.
If the property tax levy fails a second
time in November, the district
will eliminate high school busing, various
extra-curriculars and some staff.
"Anything a school district has that can
be reduced we will look at
reducing," Carpenter said.
Carpenter said the
need for an increase is inevitable when you consider
the added cost of a
fifth district building, the state flatlining
districts' funding in the
current year budget, and that the district is
at the state minimum allowed
(20 mills) to operate the schools.
"We can't keep doing the same things we
used to do without an increase
to operate the school district," he
Couple faces 63 counts of child abuse
Indictment describes incidents as
By NATALIE TROYER
In a case that involves what court records
describe as "torture," a
Springfield man and his wife have each been indicted
on more than 30
counts of child abuse involving their five adopted
A Union County Grand Jury handed down indictments Friday morning
James E. Ferguson, 46, and Vonda L. Ferguson, 43, for alleged
which reportedly took place in their Marysville home, as well as
in Union and Clark counties, between July 24, 2000 and July 24,
The children, who range in age from 6 to 16, have been removed from
custody of the Fergusons.
Mr. Ferguson was indicted on 30 counts - all
second and third degree
felonies - and Mrs. Ferguson was indicted on 33
counts of the first,
second, and third degrees. Their charges include:
Five counts of recklessly abusing a child, resulting in physical harm
child, a second degree felony.
. Five counts of torturing or cruelly abusing
a child, resulting in
serious physical harm to the child, a second degree
. Five counts of administering corporal punishment or other
disciplinary measure, or physically restraining the child in a
manner or for a prolonged period, resulting in serious physical harm
the child, a second degree felony.
. Five counts of repeatedly
administering unwarranted discipline that
could seriously impair or retard
the child's mental health or
development, resulting in serious physical harm
to the child, a second
. Five counts of permitting the
child to be abused, tortured,
administered corporal punishment or other
physical discipline, or to be
physically restrained in a cruel manner or for
a prolonged period,
causing serious physical harm to a child, a felony of the
. Five counts of knowingly causing serious physical harm to
second degree felony.
Mrs. Ferguson is charged with an
additional count of knowingly causing
serious physical harm to another, a
second degree felony. She is also
charged with two counts of rape, a
The two rape counts each carry a sentence of three to 10
years and a
$20,000 fine. Each second degree felony carries a sentence of two
eight years and a $15,000 fine. And each third degree felony carries
sentence of one to five years and a $10,000 fine.
The couple has not
been arrested and were to be notified of the charges
by a summons. An
arraignment date is set for Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 11 a.m.
in Union County
Common Pleas Court.
According to the Union County Prosecutor's Office, the
were removed from the Fergusons' custody in November
Finding the essence of a man
Local student spends a month in
Canadian woods spreading the word of God
By NATALIE TROYER
Rodenberger said he wants to be a different kind of man than society
him to be. He wants to be a man of God.
"Society tells us that the typical
man is supposed to have sex with as
many women as possible and have a big
ego," he said. "But God has a
special plan for men as leaders ... We're to be
humble and not live as
the world tells us to, but how God tells us
This summer helped the 20-year-old solidify that belief in his
From June 11 through July 13, Rodenberger, of Marysville, lived in
Bay, Ontario, Canada, as a participant in the Northwoods
Sponsored by the Campus Crusade for Christ ministry organization,
Northwoods project is intended to teach college-age men about the
God has for their lives, said Rodenberger, an upcoming junior
The 29 men participating in the summer project lived
in campus housing
at Canador College in North Bay. Three days out of the
week, the men
worked voluntarily for the community, cleaning up parks and
painting guardrails and renovating churches. Over the course of
month, they put in a total of 480 hours of service.
But the main
purpose of the summer project was to evangelize, Rodenberger said.
the others would have cookouts at a local beach with the intent
their beliefs with local people.
"We'd just be grilling out or playing games,
and we'd ask people who
walked by to join us," he said.
he was initially reluctant to share his faith with
didn't want to freak anybody out by just walking up to them and
loves you and He has a plan for your life,'" he said.
But he opened up
quickly. And while some rejected his invitation to
talk, others were
"Many people acknowledged that there is a God, but it was tough to
them realize that they needed Jesus as their Savior," he said.
Thursday through Sunday, the men would go to a local campground or
center for reflection time where they camped and canoed.
Rodenberger said the
summer project helped expand his own faith, as well.
"I've learned that I
need to step out in my faith as a Christian man,"
he said. "I can't worry
about whether or not people are going to like me
... I need to tell people
why I'm living the way I am and not just lead by example."
who graduated from Marysville High School in 2004, raised
more than $2,000 in
support from family and friends to offset the $1,800
cost of the
Dr. Frank Raymond has delivered his last baby
bundles of joy
By CINDY BRAKE
After 23 years of welcoming 3,904 babies
into the world, Dr. Frank
Raymond has decided to cease that part of his
practice and focus on
gynecology and well-woman care.
Raymond was honored
Thursday with a reception from noon to 2 p.m. at
Memorial Hospital of Union
County's Miracle Life Center.
His work is his mission, according to his staff
and family. "Heart to
God, hand to man" has been a guiding principle
throughout life. It is
also the Salvation Army's motto.
psychology for five years at Malone College, before his
going to medical school and becoming a psychiatrist.
With a wife, 3-month-old
infant, used car and U-Haul, Raymond headed to
Chicago for four years of
medical school. Then followed a one year
internship at Doctors Hospital in
Columbus, a one-year residency in
family practice and four-year residency in
He credits his wonderful wife, Ruth Ann, for helping him get
those years and God's providence for bringing him to Marysville.
those early years, he spent many a night sleeping on a gurney in
hospital hall because there was no on-call room.
Besides being a
generally joyful form of medicine, his OB/GYN practice
offered him the
opportunity to care for a patient throughout her
lifetime. In fact, he had
begun delivering a second generation of babies
for some families.
was also the doctor to deliver the first set of triplets since
1966 to be
born at Memorial Hospital. They were born in December.
He was waiting at the
hospital door for Lori Nicol of Marysville after
she started bleeding 32
weeks into her high-risk pregnancy. Nicol said
it was a relief to see her
doctor of 18 years there to help her through
the emergency delivery. Within
seven minutes of deciding she needed an
emergency Cesarean section, the first
baby entered the world.
"We had the best care," Nicol said.
have worked with him over the years, describe Raymond as
"very helpful and
meticulous ... always ready to pitch in and help." In
fact, he has been seen
mopping the hospital floor when the other staff is busy.
Missy Burns said Raymond often brought a laugh to the
delivery room when a
new mother would ask how much her newborn weighed.
Every time, Raymond said
14 pounds and 2 ounces.
Over the years, Raymond has used his training in
psychiatry to help some
of his patients through trying times. When patients
are open to prayer,
he has been known to pray for comfort and wisdom in their
Raymond said he is looking forward to say goodbye forever to the
weekends of a gynecological practice that typically run from 7
Friday to 5 p.m. Monday. He will continue to have a full-time
though, with his brother Norm at Marysville Obstetrics &
in Marysville and Urbana.
Man killed in crash near Honda
From J-T staff reports:
A crash outside of
Honda this morning reportedly took the life of an East Liberty
According to Lt. Rick Zwayer of the Ohio State Highway Patrol
Post, driver Anthony C. Barker, 49, was pronounced dead at the
this morning by Union County Coroner Dr. David Applegate. Baker was
transported to Memorial Hospital of Union County.
Zwayer said the
accident occurred as driver Nicole E. Callin, 33, of
Richwood, was headed
east on Honda Parkway at the intersection of Honda
of America's Gate B
entrance. Barker was reportedly westbound on Honda
Parkway when the two cars
collided in the westbound lanes of the intersection.
Callin was injured in
the crash and transported by Allen Township medics
to Memorial Hospital of
Union County. She was then transported by
medical helicopter to Ohio State
University Hospital. An OSU media
representative said information on Callin's
condition was not available
at press time, although a report is expected
later this morning.
Zwayer said that the crash currently remains under
"We're still looking at evidence at the scene," he said. "We
with an individual who observed the crash."
Zwayer said that
debris in the intersection, along with skid marks on
the pavement, show the
crash may have occurred in the intersection. It
appears Callin may have been
attempting to turn left into the Gate B
entrance when struck by Barker.
said investigators are hoping to speak with any other witnesses in
gather more information before an official press release
Board works to retain historic uptown charm
A newly created Historic Uptown Marysville Design Review District
ensure local landmarks remain intact - preserving the personality
characteristics of the city's past.
"The vision of revitalizing uptown
Marysville began several years ago
and resulted in the huge streetscape
project that included new
sidewalks, curbs and lots of brick. That was the
beginning of making the
downtown more attractive and inviting," Marysville
Design Review Board
chairman Alan Seymour said.
He said what followed was
the Planning Commission's creation of new
building design standards and the
Design Review Board. More recently,
the Uptown Renewal Team was organized to
further enhance and promote the
uptown for businesses. The Design Review
process and standards were then
updated and approved by city council to
include the Historic District
for architectural review regarding larger
Marysville Zoning Inspector Barbara McCoy said the
district was then extended to include more of the
According to a map provided by the city Zoning Department, the
district starts north at the railroad tracks running near Third
to North Oak Street, then heads south to Ninth Street. The district
encompasses the area between Maple Street on the west, to sections
Cherry Street to the east.
"Adding the Historical District into the
Design Review process is
actually a legislative act that will help assure
architectural enhancements over time will result in an uptown
uniform historical appeal consistent with the objectives of the
Seymour said. "The standards desire that renovation projects
material types and textures, color, architecture and signage similar
those used during the period in which the structures were built. It
encouraged residents who live in the expanded historic district to
their best efforts to upkeep their homes in ways that are consist
the period in which they were built."
For future and existing
business in the area, McCoy said the Historic
District has created the new
"fast track" approval for smaller changes
to make life easier for local
business. In the past, some business
owners have complained about the time
and expense of making small
changes to their buildings.
McCoy said each
instance of proposed changes would come through her
office and in the case of
smaller requests, a new "fast track" approval
would be issued through
Certificates of Appropriateness. Fast track
approval would mean proposed
changes to awnings, signs, and painting on
buildings can move much quicker -
as long as the color changes meet
color guidelines established by the Design
Review Board. The fast track
approval would also mean having to pay lower
As long as the proposed colors are not outlandish, she said,
owners should receive fast track approval. The color standards
currently undetermined, but are expected to be approved soon.
also explained that the Historic District design standards do not
single family homes in the area - unless the homes are set to
Seymour said that the URT group has brought a renewed
restoring the uptown Marysville image and
"It is enjoyable to drive through any well kept downtown. The
ornate period buildings and streetscape gives the feeling of a
and proud community for those passing through," Seymour
"Marysville has a very good stock of older period buildings in
uptown and can create a clean, friendly, proud atmosphere for
residents and visitors."
The Design Review Board is scheduled to meet on
Wednesday, Aug. 9 at
6:30 p.m. in Marysville City Council chambers at 125 E.
Sixth Street. It
will discuss design and color guidelines, along with
historical criteria for buildings.
Maple Street bridge closed for
By RYAN HORNS
In a recent announcement by the city of Marysville,
the Maple Street
bridge over Mill Creek is closed for repairs.
Administrator Kathy House reported that structural problems were
on the bridge as city workers began grinding down asphalt as
part of the
city's re-paving project. The closure is only expected to
last around two
"Upon uncovering this pavement, it was found that the
stability of the bridge has deteriorated to a point that it is
for vehicular traffic," House wrote.
Initial reports by the city
indicated that the bridge would be closed
for an indefinite period of time,
potentially causing traffic problems
with Marysville High School classes
resuming on Aug. 21. Wednesday
morning Marysville Assistant Chief Glenn Nicol
said that the problems
with the bridge weren't as bad as originally thought.
House provided an
update on the issue on Wednesday afternoon.
was inspected late yesterday by an ODOT bridge expert and
found it to be
structurally sound but in need of significant deck
repairs. City Street
Division crews began the needed repairs
immediately and expect to have them
completed in time for the final
repaving to be laid according to schedule,"
Instead of being barricaded indefinitely, House said, Maple Street
be closed at the bridge to vehicles until the repaving is
through approximately August 18.
House said Maple Street will
only be closed at the bridge for vehicle
traffic. Pedestrians may still use
the bridge for walking, but
barricades have been installed on both sides of
preventing through traffic.
"City administration will keep
residents informed as these repairs
progress and the bridge can be reopened,"
House wrote. "We thank
motorists for their patience during this unexpected
House also provided an update on the 2006 Street Repaving
already underway. Pavement grinding is continuing on Maple Street, to
followed by Fairwood Drive and Elm Street through the remainder of
She said on Monday, Aug. 7 grinding will move to Court Street,
Eighth and Third streets. On Tuesday, Aug. 8 Chestnut Street, from
to Tenths streets, will be ground. Then East Fourth Street, from
Cherry streets, will follow from Wednesday, Aug. 9 through at
Friday, Aug. 11. Final paving preparations will follow on each of
previously ground streets. New asphalt will be applied after the
preparations are completed.
As a reminder, streets to be paved in
addition to those already started
and also those mentioned above are: Bay
Laurel Dr. (Millwood Boulevard
to pavement change); Cherry Street (Five
Points to Fourth Street);
Linden Street (Seventh to Collins Avenue); Olive
Street (Fourth to Fifth
streets); Park Avenue (Fifth Street to concrete);
Lee's Place (Third to
Fifth streets); Mary's Place (Third to Fifth streets);
(Seventh Street to Collins Avenue); Weaver Road (Airport
South to city
limits); Third Street (Maple to Main streets).
N.L. utility change prompts concern
By CORINNE BIX
Water rates and tempers
are rising in North Lewisburg.
Beginning in January village residents will no
longer pay a flat rate of
$55 a month for unlimited water and sewer services.
The village will
adopt a new pay schedule based on actual usage by each
property owner as
measured by water meters that were installed earlier this
Several citizens attending the meeting expressed concerns over the
in water and sewer rates.
Gary Silcott, village engineer with R.D.
Zande and Associates, reported
that residents will be charged a $45 base rate
per month for water and
sewer. The base rate covers water usage up to 2,000
gallons per month.
The average family of four, according to the EPA web site,
4,500 gallons per month, however based on initial studies the
family in North Lewisburg is closer to using 6,000 gallons each
On the proposed rate schedule this would cost the average family
North Lewisburg $79 per month for water and sewer.
"Some people are
going to pay 50 percent more than what they have been
because they will be
paying for what they actually use," Silcott explained.
that the hike in rates is long overdue and only comes
now as a means to
eventually retire the 20-year debt of the new water
treatment facility which
began construction earlier this summer. The
need for the new plant comes as a
result of an accelerated increase of
population in the village over the last
"We weren't covering our costs before," Silcott explained.
said up until now, the village was able to supplement the increased
treatment costs with income tax and impact/capacity fees collected
construction, however now that the new plant is both a reality
necessity the rates have to reflect the construction and
"It's been too cheap too long," Mayor Dick Willis
In other news:
. Susan Woodard reported that the Skate Park
Committee continues to
gather estimates on concrete and equipment and is in
the process of
starting to gather fund raising ideas.
. Citizens were
reminded that no bikes or skateboards are permitted on
the downtown sidewalks
per a village ordinance and as indicated by
various signs posted in the
downtown area. Warnings will be issued for
first time offenders and citations
will be issued on a second offense.
. Pavement of North Sycamore/North Street
is to begin Sept. 5.
. Fall Community Yard Sale and Community Activities are
. Deputy Glenn Kemp gave the Champaign County Sheriff's report for
month of July. It included six traffic citations, eight warnings
for traffic violations, 17 incident reports, 35 cases of
given to citizens, six arrests, eight civil and criminal papers
74 follow-up investigations, seven instances of juvenile contact,
civic activities completed and one auto accident.
showcases local talent
Editor's note: The following information is submitted
Underwood, director of the local production.
opening night for Marysville Summer Theatre's production of
"Fiddler on the
Roof" at the Union County Veterans Memorial Auditorium.
The musical story of
a small Jewish village in the Russian Ukraine during
the time of the Tzars
will be staged by more than 75 actors, dancers and
will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Aug. 5
and 6, and Aug. 10, 11 and
Dan McKean of Milford Center stars as Tevye, the Jewish milkman
attempts to maintain his family and religious traditions while
adapting to new pressures.
He shares the stage with Marysville High School
music teachers Katie
Paulson as Tevye's eldest daughter, Tzeitel, and Jeremy
Alfera, as Perchik, the student from Kiev.
Tevye's two other strong-willed
daughters, Hodel and Chava, played by
Grace and Mallory Underwood, each
select their own husband, contrary to tradition.
The village matchmaker,
Yente, portrayed by Abby Wight, complicates Tevye's frustration.
musical opens with a lone fiddler, played by Seth Franke, standing on a roof
tune, as Tevye tells the audience about the customs of his people
and about how they have
lived all their lives in Anatevka.
He equates life in
Anatevka with being a "fiddler on the roof," trying to scratch out a simple,
pleasant tune without breaking his neck.
"How do we keep our balance?" he
asks. "That I can tell you in one word: Tradition!"
Motel the tailor is
portrayed by Patrick Walters of Columbus, who has participated in
central Ohio and regional venues, including Columbus Children's Theatre and
at the Palace Theatre in Columbus for Pleasure Guild of Children's
He is joined on staged by Evan Zimmerman, as Fyedka, who
recently starred at the
Columbus Palace Theatre in "Honk!" Rounding out the
cast of strong vocalists includes
Karla Chapman Poling as Golde,
Tevye's wife, who portrayed Miss Hannigan in "Annie"
and Nancy in "Oliver"
on the local stage in past seasons; Vallen Boblitt as Lazar Wolf;
Wight as Mordcha, the Innkeeper; Molly Rossetti as Fruma Sarah, Lazar's
wife; and the real life father and son team of Brian and Chris Murray
and his son, Mendel.
""Fiddler on the Roof" opened on
Broadway in 1964 and was written by Jerry Bock
Directed by Scott Underwood and accompanied on the piano by
the pit orchestra includes accomplished musicians from
the local and surrounding area.
Tickets are available at Creative
Traveline, 106 N. Court St., 644-8188,
or by calling 645-JAXS. All seats are
Fire service split still on the table
By CORINNE BIX
future of fire and emergency services is up for debate in the village of
North Lewisburg participates along with Woodstock, Rush
Township and Wayne Township
in the NECCFD. Two representatives from
each participating community sit on the fire board.
There have been many
discussions over the past several years between village officials and the
fire board about housing the ever growing fire department.
currently operates out of the village municipal building and pays rent on
feet of space. The village voted in April to more than double
the NECCFD's annual rent from
$6,000 to $12,500 retroactive to Jan. 1 when
the last contract expired.
Council also voted to gradually increase the
annual rent to $25,000 by 2008 which averages out
to $5 per square foot of
It was suggested in June by Steve Wilson, village council
president, and Curtis Burton, village
council vice-president, that the two
village representatives on the fire board be voted on by the
Currently, as in the case of internal committees, the village
mayor selects who represents the
village on fire board. Presently,
Willis and Barry First, village administrator, are the
Last month, the village passed a motion by a four
to two vote to allow the mayor to appoint
a six to 10 member committee to
study the concept of creating a village-only division of fire
medical service. Wilson and Burton were the two no votes Mayor Willis
reassured residents that the village is only conducting a study to gather
information and no
normal plans to break from the NECCFD have been
Last night, various citizens expressed concern that personal
issues between fire board
members and village representatives have clouded
the judgment of all parties involved.
Many citizens asked that everyone
come to an amicable agreement.
First reported that the next step will be
to bring in mediators to settle the never-ending
debate. Nick Selvaggio,
Champaign County prosecutor, and Harley Davidson, village
legal counsel will
be the two mediators.
"We feel it's the consensus of administration and
all of council that mediation will be the
glue that brings us back together,"
First and Willis said they are in favor of the mediation process
and will honor the
recommendation by Selvaggio and Davidson.
Spain, NECCFD, said that the fire district is encouraged that the mediation
will bring harmony between the two groups.
"I welcome the mediation and we
would very much like to see everything work out
between the NECCFD and the
village," Spain said.
Ride for Kids raises $104,000
From J-T staff reports:
More than 400
motorcyclists, fundraisers and patient families gathered
for the 15th annual
Marysville Ride for Kids on Saturday. The group
raised $104,134 for the
Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation's research and
The police-escorted motorcycle ride left from the Honda of
Manufacturing plant, where the annual Honda Homecoming was taking
The route went through rural Union, Logan and Shelby counties.
the motorcyclists returned to the Honda plant, they were treated to
marvelous Celebration of Life program starring five local brain
survivors - Erin, 6, Seth and Jenna, 7, Jason, 12, and Matt,
"We're glad to be here and we will keep coming back until there is
cure," said Seth's dad, Todd.
Dr. Amanda Termuhlen, associate chief of
pediatric oncology at Columbus
Children's Hospital, told the crowd how
important their fundraising
efforts are to her research into brain
"We've all heard the child in the backseat asking 'are we there
Well, we're not there, but we are getting closer," she said.
individual fundraiser honors went to Kathy and Sam Straughn of
who raised $9,025. The top club, GWRRA Ohio Chapter B2,
brought in $24,426,
and the customers of Marysville Honda raised $22,088
to make it the top
motorcycle business. Beverly Campbell of Harrod,
Ohio, won the grand prize, a
brand-new Honda motorcycle.
Special acknowledgement went to Marysville Ride
for Kids task force
leaders Altrece Hogans and LouAnn McKeen, visitation
leader Ken Denman,
the task force members and day-of-event volunteers, for
hosting a terrific event.
Since 1984, the national Ride for Kids program
and PBTF have promoted
childhood brain tumor research and provided family
support through free
literature about brain tumors, educational newsletters,
conferences and college scholarships. With the help of
motorcyclists and motorcycle dealers, PBTF has become the
largest non-governmental source of funding for pediatric brain
The next PBTF Ride for Kids events are Sunday, Aug. 6 in
and Central Valley, N.Y. For more information about Ride for
interested may go to www.rideforkids.org or call
Balloon Festival to be featured on Country Living
From J-T staff reports:
Marysville's All Ohio Balloon Fest will be
front and center this week
across the State of Ohio.
Country Living, the
official publication of Ohio's Rural Electric
Cooperatives, features a cover
photo of the Touchstone Energy balloon
during its 2005 visit to Marysville.
Inside the cover, the event is
announced to the public. The magazine will be
delivered to households
and businesses this week.
"This is a great
opportunity to show off the Balloon Fest to the rest of
the state," Union
Rural Electric spokesperson Eileen Tuttle said. "We
want people from all over
Ohio to come to Marysville for the event."
Country Living has a paid
circulation of 283,000 across the state. It is
Ohio's largest rural monthly
publication. It is also the primary
communication link between Union Rural
Electric members and their
Union Rural Electric, a Touchstone
Energy Cooperative, is the lead
sponsor of the August All Ohio Balloon Fest.
This is the cooperative's
third major sponsorship of the event, organized
this year for the first
time by the Marysville Journal-Tribune.
tradition of the Balloon Fest is something we want to see
said. "It's an important part of the image of our city
and the quality of
life in our community."
Marysville Journal Tribune
All rights reserved